On this month Tribina came up with the new topic to discuss in IBT. I was very curious about the topic this time because most of the problems were already discussed by us during the previous months. After I finished my household chores, I went to the meeting on time. Tribina was already present, and after all the members were also there, she started the meeting by reviewing the topic we discussed last time in IBT. Then she told us the topic of today was HIV/AIDS. She asked us “what is it”? or “have we heard this word somewhere”? We have heard about this disease but have little knowledge about how it is transmitted to others. She asked: “haven’t we learnt in school about it”? We replied by saying that we’ve already forgotten and that some of us are uneducated. She asked us: “do we know someone who is fighting with this virus”? Firstly, we hesitated to tell but as she created a friendly environment, we could tell her about it. We told her that there are more than 5 people around in our community who are suffering from this virus.
HIV was transmitted mostly because male partners are employed in a foreign country and then it is transmitted to their female partners due to unsafe sexual contact. The Ward have provided free medicine for the HIV patients and different safety devices for males and females, but still there should be awareness program on this topic. We cannot openly talk about it and Tribina was shocked after listening to our stories. Then, we asked her what are its symptoms and how we can prevent being infected with HIV. Then, she told us important information.
On this session we got a chance to learn about HIV/AIDS. The full name of HIV is human immunodeficiency virus, and it is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system and interferes with the body’s ability to fight infections and diseases and then it leads to AIDs (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). AIDS is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by HIV infection. It is the last stage of HIV.
It was first found in Africa in 1981. The first case of AIDs in Nepal was reported in 1988. According to a recent estimate, approximately 50.200 people are infected by the virus in Nepal. There is no cure to this infection, but the person has to live with it. In the rural areas of Nepal there are many people who do not know about this virus, but everyone should be aware. Tribina told us about its causes, symptoms, prevention measures and what behavior we should and should not do with infected person.
We understood that HIV can transmit through unsafe sexual contact, so safety measures should be used during sex. Also, injection of illicit drugs or sharing needles, and contact with infected blood should be avoided. In addition, HIV can transmit from mother to child during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and infected mother should not give birth to a child.
The symptoms of HIV infection are fever, headache, rash, sore throat, weight loss and pain in muscles and joints and so on. After having these symptoms, she/ he should visit the doctor. Before sharing needle or blood we should determine if it is tested or not.
The people infected by the virus are sensitive, they are seeking for love and support, but I have seen some people are really disrespectful to them. If they get abuse, they can go through demotivate and depression which may lead to lose their interest of living.
Therefore, we can help people those who are infected – by showing love, respecting, supporting, motivating and involving them on social activities. Tribina told us to share with our family and friends that we learn on this session so, that we can spread some education from our side too. In our society, we don’t openly talk about this issue, instead we hide it and very shy to talk about this matter but I realize this shyness may lead to the way of infection easily and widely that’s why problems won’t solve until and unless we speak.
This session was genuinely impactful. I hope our government will manage various awareness program on each society about such problem. I’m thankful towards Slisha and WAWCAS program for providing such influential topics every month. I really appreciate your effort.