Sunday, February 26, 2006

The young mantra !!

It’s not a big deal !

I love exploring the unexplored; I wish to do something different. I know it is dangerous, they say do not touch. Let me try and well it is not a big deal. May be I can do it !! These are some of the statements one gets to listens when one kick starts smoking, drinking or that matter using drugs. All of us know that these are bad but our urge to explore and proving ourselves as different, pressure of peers inclines us towards these so called poisons. They actually poison our health, and have long lasting effect on it. These are addictive, expensive; many a times even illegal too.

But lets us remember, it is our choice whether to take them or not. No one can force you if you do not want. It is just working with your urge, managing a question of big deal. Many of us say given a chance we can handle the responsibility, well, here is our chance! We need to take our onus on ourself and do it. Let us say it is not a big deal and stop using them or support others to get over it, off course without being judgmental. Family and friends are a great support. Say big NO to drugs.

- anil gulati

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The power of will to fight HIV

Spiritual Gurus do say and even I do believe that our thoughts, moods, state of being and feelings are powerful influences on our health and immune system. Yesterday I was in training on HIV/AIDS wherein I had a chance to hear Pradeep (name changed) on his experience in fighting with HIV, which he and his wife had been living with HIV for last six years. One got moved not only because the way he narrated his story but the way he has been fighting the dreaded virus. More than anything the most powerful message one could get from his talk was that there is life beyond HIV. One needs a will to fight the infection and, which he had in him in plenty.

I presume the moment you have that positive will, you would do whatever is needed and advised to fight the HIV infection. I feel Pradeep is a fighter, a fighter with weapon of will with him. He not only motivates you and tells you that it is will which could be more potent than any other vaccine. He may or may not succeed but more important is his present which he is living with full confidence. To me it proves a point that thoughts, one emotion and the various body systems don't work in isolation. They work together as a whole system.

After hearing from him I did search for some studies, which was more to add to his belief and mine too. One which I found close to this was by UCLA AIDS Institute research which showed that stress enables HIV to spread more quickly in HIV-positive persons and impairs antiretroviral drugs from restoring the immune system. Depression and negative attitudes have also been linked to lowering the immune system, which meant that opposite, could do better, probably a theory of which Pradeep is living example. I and many of us get emotional on issue which affects us, but when you see him and hear about him, his wife and the suffering and stigma they got in return from the society in this 21st century era of technology and openness. How his daughter could not get admitted in any school in capital of this country?

One feels our issues are nothing as compared to his. I got away with a message from him that it is positive will power which has helped to fight in his own life. He is real life role model for me and may be for all of us not only for person living with HIV, encourages us in our encounter with issues which have bearing on us.

Contributed by Anil Gulati

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Youth take oath to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS

More than 150 people from Malwa and Nimar districts took an oath to help spread awareness about AIDS.
“Should HIV/AIDS issues be taught in schools? What can the youth do to contribute to the cause?” were some of the questions raised by participants at the two-day anti-HIV/AIDS youth meet organised by UNICEF and Madhya Pradesh Voluntary Health Association (MPVHA) in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The youngsters coined slogans for helping spread awareness.

Western MP, especially 14 districts of Malwa and Nimar regions (which touch commercial areas of Maharashtra and Gujarat), are highly susceptible to AIDS. Of the 1,524 known cases of AIDS in the state, 1,080 have been reported from these districts—with Indore and Ujjain topping the list with 419 and 275 cases respectively.

Khargone follows them with 74 cases, Dhar with 70 cases, Dewas with 66, Shajapur with 67 and Khandwa with 37. All over the state, the number of AIDS patients is increasing by the day with 205 fresh cases being reported in 2004 as against 143 in 2003. As of date there are approximately 1,662 AIDS cases in Madhya Pradesh.

Experts who participated in the meet opined that the fundamental challenge in controlling HIV/AIDS is in getting the right information to the people, especially the younger section of the populace.
“The challenge is not in merely disseminating information, but in doing it in a manner that not only entertains but also educates people about issues, creates favourable attitudes, shifts social norms and helps generate a positive response”, they said.

State AIDS Control Society Project director Salina Singh, who was the chief guest, said, “Young people can make a difference as they can convey the message to their peers. Right information is the key.”
Addressing the gathering, UNICEF communication officer Anil Gulati said, “We are here for a mission to check the spread of virus in our country. Knowledge is power and we need to empower ourselves. What is more disturbing was that it was engulfing the 'productive population' in the age group of 20-40 years. The numbers of patients under this age group is 1,080”

Among the participants was Pushpinderpal Singh from the Bhopal-based Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism. “Majority HIV positive cases go unreported as infected people refuse to take tests and don’t accept that they may be afflicted. They would rather wait for the disease to get converted into full-blown AIDS before accepting the reality,” he said.

MPVHA Executive Director Mukesh Sinha emphasised on the work being undertaken by the civil society organisation on HIV/AIDS. Fox Kids TV series Anchor Ajay Nagrath was present to advocate the cause.

By Sanjay Sharma in Bhopal at Saturday, 11 February , 2006, 09:56