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