TODAY-May your name be enlisted for December Praise, Agents of favour will line up to bless you, Victory will queue-up to escort you to d New Year-HAPPY NEW MONTH
The above and many more similar messages were what woke me up this morning. And it was then it dawned on me that it is the first day of the last month in the Gregorian Calendar, 24 days from Christmas and the month where festivities abound, I smiled, happy. Why? Seriously? People still ask that kind of questions?! Of course there will be plenty food and limitless jolification! Okay, enough about the mundane.
Today is World AIDS Day. Yes, AIDS The dreaded incurable disease that is carried by over 23 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, with another 10 million in the rest of the world! AIDS that accounts for more death than Lung Cancer does in this part of the milky way. Yet, today is passing and I can almost put my money where my mouth is that you have not heard "Happy AIDS day" from anyone except on the very minute number of TV stations socially conscious enough to air it. Sad. Aye? Aye.
It is not even the fact that the most affected population just passes without a glance, bothering more on the mundane; the ephemeral and transient pleasures, it is the more grievous evil of the Stigma the carriers of the deadly virus are steeped in by this unconscious generation. As though they are no human, and we all are guilty, to the bone and marrow, to the blood and brine. When was the last time you interacted with an AIDS patient? When was the last time you offered support to one who's life is slowly ebbing away due to sickly and dying anti-bodies? When was the last time you cared, and extended a hand of fellowship? You cannot remember. I thought as much too.
In this society where people are even afraid to go check their status, how do we know who is what? Nevertheless, as part of efforts aimed at spreading the AIDS consciousness in this part of the world, we at WinningTimes have decided to reach out to the affected and the non-affected alike, teaching how to live with the disease, whether as a carrier or as best friend to a carrier.
(1) DO YOUR TEST!: This is the Numero Uno instruction, the Primus Inter Pares. You must know your status and live on in that line, for what would it profit a man to live on as though he is a healthy individual and then lose his life to the cold hands of the bad-ass killer disease; AIDS? This is profitable for the fashioning of diets and anti-retroviral drug intake to cushion effects of the virus and prolong life for the virally infected.
(2) DO TEll: If the test comes out negative, good for you. Do take necessary steps like ensuring you stay glued to partners who also know their status and are willing to remain "Negative" regardless of what it takes viz: Abstinence from unprotected sex if you cannot but "Do" and Avoidance of bodily fluids like semen and blood of those who carry the virus. If the result comes out Positive, do not despair, it is not a death sentence. See it rather as a timely information to help save your life and rescue those of us close to you from the greedy claws of the virus. And that is what brings us to our second point; Do Tell. An uninformed is a deformed man, or deceased man, if you like and because we do not want to alternate our Negative states for the one with the + sign, we will like for you to tell us that we may take necessary steps. Also, information is vital for situational appraisal, that will help you, and help us too. Go for counseling too.
(3) STAY HEALTHY: This borders on the management of the situation as it pertains to drugs. The greateat danger you can do to yourself is to resort to a non-chalant way of life after the discovery. Do all tests recommended to assist in the diagnostic process and read about the management too. Drugs targeted at the management of the HIV/AIDS virus could have gruesome effects, like any other drug aimed at tackling life-challenging ailments but then it is very important for you to take your HIV medicines exactly as directed. Not taking medications correctly may lower the level of immune system defenders called CD4 cells and cause the level of virus in your blood (viral load) to go up. The medicines then become less effective when taken. Some people report not feeling well as a reason for stopping their medication or not taking it as prescribed. Tell your doctor if your medicines are making you sick. He or She may be able to help you deal with side effects so you can feel better. Don't just stop taking your medicines because your health depends on it.
(4) BELIEVE: It is often said in religious circles and without that the first step begins with Faith and then all other things fall into place. We at WinningTimes say he who is down needs fear no fall. Since you will lose nothing by believing, why not do so, and live life full and with joy.
(5) SUPPORT: This is as it affects those of us close to people living with HIV/AIDS. Enough of the stigma; the indirect murder of our brothers and sisters. We can extend a helping hand fully conscious of what or what not to do to them. We can be the shoulders for these ones to lean on, we can make their lives easier and happier, if only we try. We can be the help and support they truly need, and stop being am unnecessary Pain in the Neck and a constant reminder if the Pseudo-fact that they will one day pass on, as we all shall nevertheless, and what might have been if they had taken some steps.
A famous philosopher once said "The State is Man Writ Large". That the society is a culmination of our individual efforts whether in a good or bad light. An HIV/AIDS-free generation begins with you, and not just you alone, it does with me too and together, we can make it happen. Remember the time-honoured saying, that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. Make the move today, I will make mine. Touch a life living with AIDS positively.
HAPPY HIV/AIDS DAY!!!
HAPPY NEW MONTH!!!