Multi Media Campaign
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is encouraging to know that the Multi Media Campaign (MMC) – 2013 is organising Kiphire District Audition on Tuesday (today). Its purpose was based on the sad story that 67% of HIV+ are females in Kiphire. MMC is on the go encouraging people to have themselves checked and if found stricken with this disease, their only option is to avail anti-retroviral therapy (ART).Like the dengue fever which is an annual epidemic especially around New Delhi and arrives during the Monsoon just as the scorching heat is settling, right now there is no cure for human immuno virus (HIV) the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immuno deficiency syndrome). In fact, this disease has been described some people as the greatest scourge inflicted by God on humans for their apostasy and immoral character. The scourge spread from mid 1980s for the first time on planet earth. Some sources say that the green monkey of Africa bit a woman who then spread the disease unknowingly. Since then another epidemic, the bird flu also spread in the 1990s.
In ancient times, sure people suffered from various diseases but they managed to survive by learning the secrets of plants to make medicines. Out of the 1,200 plants found in the Nagas Hills, about 250 have been discovered for food and medicines. Unfortunately, this knowledge and practice are also slowly vanishing.
However, there are medicines to help those with HIV/AIDS live longer and healthier. The Nagaland Health and Family Welfare department also has NSACS (Nagaland State Aids Control Society) which is devoted full time to check the spread of this disease. In fact, it is a department by itself with a full time Director and dedicated doctors and staff. It campaigns relentlessly to ensure some measure of relief for those stricken by the disease.
AIDS weakens the body’s ability to fight off the disease, so people with AIDS can get seriously ill. Someone who is healthy and doesn’t have AIDS could easily recover from an illness that might kill a person with AIDS. This a specific syndrome that develops someone’s immune system is dangerously weakened because of HIV. That is why it is so important to get tested, so if you have HIV you can take medication and not develop AIDS.
The symptoms of AIDS include herpes infections that won’t go away; a thick white coating on the tongue (thrush) or yeast infections; extreme tiredness; extreme weight loss, pneumonia, purple or discoloured growths of skin, cancer and mental changes. Generally, those struck by AIDS last about nine months or so. However, the virus can surface after several years also.
That is why the authorities advocate us of condoms. Better still, avoid immoral or casual sex with strangers. Avoid drugs also especially those that require syringes. Even better would be manifestation of a religious faith and practice it with a full devotion.
In Nagaland, while we are supposed to be a Christian State, there are also many shortcomings. In addition to Kiphire, cases of AIDS are much higher in Kohima, Dimapur while the disease is also reported from Mokokchung, Tuensang and Zunheboto. In fact, the disease is all over the State in more or less degree.
The disease is infected but it is reported that kissing someone with AIDS does not infect you. Due to the stigma attached to it, perhaps many more cases go unreported. What people in general can do is to have some sympathy for those stricken with AIDS. They will not survive for too long but they can be encouraged to pray for their souls and receive redemption.
Kudos to NSACS and MMC for their ongoing efforts. Hopefully, they will keep getting more financial assistance not only from the Government but from various other sources as well. The Government of India also targets to ensure relief for those with AIDS. And Bill Gates also helps in this regard. We can only pray that one day some scientist or the other will come up with a cure all for AIDS making eligible for a call from Stockholm to be apprised of the Nobel Prize which he/she or they will surely deserve.