Thursday, 1 December 2011

World AIDS Day

We've all seen the Red ribbons that people wear on their coats or pinned to their bags... Ever wondered what it stood for? Most people i talked to today had no clue to what the full form of AIDS was... At least I'm glad i am not one of those and its thanks to the General Knowledge class we had to take in St. Helens Secondary school where these information so called 'knowledge' was drilled into us constantly. So for those of you who still don't know what it is; AIDS stands for "ACQUIRED IMMUNE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME".

Every year on December 1st, the world celebrates "World AIDS Day". It is celebrated globally to raise awareness on the AIDS pandemic that is caused by the HIV infection that kills many hundreds of people around the world each year. Hearing true life experienced stories from people infected positive for HIV is surely what moves me into wanting to reach out to them. Just like how in Bhutan, a rather positive milestone was stepped when a 38 year old man came forth with his positive HIV status in public after 20 years of being infected making him the pioneer in speaking out about being infected and i hope he sets a leading example to those who are still hiding behind their disease in fear of being stigmatized by society.

But little did i know too myself on what actually HIV and AIDS is so today i took the time after class to learn more about it and how i could pledge in raising awareness...And with this day commencing i pledged to help raise awareness by going to a Free HIV test clinic that was set up in the science center at UBC and educated myself so i could not only help myself but others in regard to this disease as well.

The first thing i did was i pledged myself and went to the free HIV testing clinic that was being offered by UBC health center and got tested for HIV. The nurse asked me a protocol series of questions but the one that stood out for me was when she seriously asked " If you were tested positive for HIV would you go out and harm other people...?" I had to pause for a few seconds to think if that was a serious question or not and with a unsure laughter i said of course not and hearing my unsure laughter she said yes i know it's a weird and funny question but its part of my job that i need to stick to these questions... But yes it was good to know that she found it weird as well... i am not a sadistic person to inflict pain and suffering on others and i hope there are no people like that who would like to inflict suffering on others except i did hear one time about the Tutsi population in Rwanda who rape babies as they believe that it would strip away of their HIV status....which is very disturbing and at the same time appalling to even imagine takes place in some corner of the world like many rituals and practices we are ignorant of still.

She took a poke at my finger and collected some blood and ran some tests and not surprisingly of the results it displayed 'negative' :). Thanking her after our small conversation on Bhutan, i left the clinic to enjoy my friend performing some neyo, Usher, tracy chapman cover numbers downstairs at the building...

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