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Updated: December 8, 2009 15:45 IST

Stay healthy, stay safe

Tejaswini Pagadala
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Be aware: Of AIDS
Be aware: Of AIDS

December 1 is World AIDS Day.

At an age when they have to be playing with their friends, these children visit the hospitals and go through treatment for HIV and AIDS.

A common misconception is one about HIV and AIDS being the same. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that results in an acquired syndrome called the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS.

HIV in children is generally transmitted through three ways: peri natal transmission, blood transfusion or by using needles that are not sterilised.

“A healthy HIV positive child can play any kind of sport. But, if the child were to bleed or there is a possibility of an open wound then the child must be very careful,” says Dr. Lavanya Reddy of Apollo Hospital.

“I play at school with everyone. We eat together, we study together and we also dance together. But, my parents warn me to keep away from my friends and I never understood why they said so,” says an eight-year-old HIV positive patient.

The role of the parents can be considered as the most vital in the lives of the HIV positive children. They are the ones who instill confidence in them and boost their morale.

Acceptance

A parent of a HIV positive girl says , “the moment I got to know that my girl tested positive for HIV, I felt ashamed of myself.

Not because she is my daughter but because of what she has to go through for the mistake I made. There was denial for a couple of months in the family. But, later everyone accepted the fact and we have been living with it since then.”

Many people tend to avoid undergoing treatment for HIV due to the expenses incurred. Doctors say that these medicines are quite expensive and limited.

Further, children do not even comprehend the disease assuming the symptoms to be those of some regular infections.

Therefore, regular HIV tests or creating awareness about AIDS will put you half way through the problem.

Else you have to keep battling the problem throughout your life.

December 1 is observed as World AIDS Day.

Take a pledge to be responsible for your life this day. Stay healthy.


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