A Perspective of a HIV+ Child
I am affected…
The word seems to have
Big bang effect on me…
My parents are HIV
So I am affected
I wonder… how come I am affected?
When they have disease
I look at me… I value me
What has happened to me?
How am I affected?
I feel confused and choked..
Amidst so many known persons
Once known…now unknown
Most dangerous things doesn’t scare
As much as the stares of people!!
Yes… I am affected
When no one comes near me,
Keeping a safe distance
Afraid to touch me when bleeding
Scare to pat me when I won
Greeting me with big ‘Namaste’
Lesser firm handshakes
Different queue on waiting for doctors
Excessive pity…no empathy
Feels we are also waiting for
Final Namaste to this world
I am gasping for breath of acceptance
Of value and dignified living
Basic right of a human being…
Deprived from me as I AM AFFECTED!!
I am affected… don’t make me infected too!!
With your insensitivity!!!
I feel sick – when you cover mouth talking to me
I feel weak – when you scared to touch me
I feel meek- when you throw charity on me
I feel powerless- when you decide what is right for me!!
At present the above is the status of as many as 2.47 million children and adults living with HIV/AIDS and many more affected by the name “AIDS”. It is estimated by the end of 2005, there are 15 million children who became orphans due to HIV/AIDS (http://www.countercurrents.org/gathia090708.htm) who lost one or both parents due to the deadly disease. Despite, HIV related work started in many spheres in India; at the earliest stage itself, a structured team work of all the stakeholders is still lacking in this field.
What bothers me, as a person and a social worker, that stigma and discrimination has found its way, in every nook and corner of India. I wish to see an unaffected India where the following is not an utopia but reality, where as:
- Efforts are being done to work cohesively. Enough of back-biting all people involved!
- An open resource and information centers for AIDS orphans.
- Foster care facilities
- More advocacy about AIDS orphan rights
- Etiquette with AIDS orphans making mandatory in schools and colleges
- Combating a problem like a family not an buck-passing attitude
- Working for awareness than deadlines
- Sustainable awareness levels
- More young adults participation at every level of process
- Peer-based, group based activities
- More safer homes, shelters, hostels for affected orphans
- Focus on dignity of living
- Common man counselors
- Identifying new areas of support
- Career opportunities for AIDS orphans
- Best nutritional and educational facilities
IF ABOVE ARE NOT DONE, WITH POSITIVE MINDSET…
WE CAN’T SAY WE ARE POSITIVE TOWARDS POSITIVES, EITHER AFFECTED,INFECTED,VULNERABLE.
Lest, every AIDS ORPHANS DAY, WE CAN RUN A RE-PRINT OF THE SAME ARTICLE.
Sai Padma Murthy
Common Woman Counselor- POSTIVE 4 POSITIVES
On the eve of “ AIDS Orphans Day”- An FXB International Initiative 7/5/2010