We have a misconception that, we treat HIV and AIDS as same-thing but in reality HIV and AIDS are different. When someone is described as living with HIV, they have the HIV virus in their body. A person is considered to have developed AIDS when the immune system is so weak it can no longer fight off a range of diseases with which it would normally cope.
"Universal Access and Human Rights"HIV can be passed on through infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk. The most common ways HIV is passed on are:
- Sex without a condom with someone living with HIV
- Sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment
- From an HIV-positive mother (to her child) during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding (but with effective treatment and care the risk of transmission can be greatly reduced)
In Nepal, AIDS was reported firstly in 1988.Nepal faces increasing HIV prevalence among most at-risk populations (MARPs) such as sex workers, injecting drug users (IDUs), men who have sex with men (MSM), and migrants. Effective prevention interventions need to be scaled up, especially among IDUs. Nepal's poverty, political instability, and gender inequality, combined with low levels of education and literacy, make the task challenging, as do the denial, stigma, and discrimination that surround HIV and AIDS. As of December 2007, the Government of Nepal reported 1,610 cases of AIDS and 10,546 HIV infections, which has grown to 13,000 infections by World AIDS Day 2008.
According to World Bank's Report published in August 2008, it is necessary to take action against HIV & AIDS. Report suggest that, Nepal’s epidemic will continue to grow if immediate and effective action is not taken and will be largely driven by injection drug use and sex work.World Bank's Report suggest following major risk factors for increasing rate of HIV and AIDS in Nepal:
- Continued Spread among Injecting Drug Users
- Trafficking of Female Sex Workers (FSWs)
- Changing Values among Young People
- High Rates of Migration and Mobility
- Low Awareness among Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSMs)
What is doing Nepal Government ?
In 1988, the Government of Nepal launched the first National AIDS Prevention and Control Program and in 1992 established a multi-sector National AIDS Coordinating Committee (NACC) chaired by the Minister of Health. More recently, a National AIDS Council (NAC), chaired by the Prime Minister, was established to raise the profile of HIV/AIDS. But both NACC and NAC have essentially been non-functional.
Beside Nepal Government there are numerous NGOs and INGOs working for HIV and AIDS, but rate of infection of HIV and AIDS are increasing day by day.There are currently almost 100 NGOs working in the area of HIV/AIDS in Nepal, and numerous private and voluntary organizations implement activities funded by donors. A number of multilateral and bilateral organizations support HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support, and treatment initiatives in Nepal, including interventions for vulnerable groups; behavioral change communications; condom promotion; STD control; testing and counseling; surveillance; and operational research. Every year, donors like World Bank and UN are donating millions of dollar for controlling HIV and AIDS in Nepal but result is not satisfactory.
We are celebrating World AIDS Day 2009 in Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Kavre as well.Kathmandu University Youth Red Cross Circle (KUYRC) is organizing Marathon this morning, and talk program and awareness program this afternoon by various clubs. As far, World AIDS Day 2009 is being celebrated all over the world. Year 2009 slogan for World AIDS Day is "Universal Access and Human Rights". World AIDS Day, observed on 1st December each year, is an important opportunity when governments, national AIDS programs, faith organizations, community organizations, and individuals around the world to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic and emphasise the critical need for universal access to essential care.
Overall, Nepal requires immediate action and long-term continuity and sustainability to control HIV/AIDS. But our bad-luck, In Nepal everything is being implemented in paper only. Lets put our effort together to combat with HIV and AIDS. Lets treat everyone equally for universal access and human rights.
To rise awareness among the youth to use condom, Media Studies group of Kathmandu University has made this short video called, 'Ma aaudai chhu priya'. Checked it out:
i.World Bank's Report August 2008