And the world celebrated World AIDS Day yesterday (December 1) as a stand-off against the deadly disease with a bid to spread awareness (among the young and the old alike) about ‘safe sex’! Now then, as a common Indian, I have heard that use of contraceptives- especially condoms- help to prevent AIDS. But the problem here is that we all talk and advertise about male condoms and nothing about the female condoms. Well, aren’t a male and a female equally at the risk of being attacked by the disease?
Sex is a taboo in our Indian society; our great and morally ‘high’ Indian society. And maybe this is the reason that today India is the second highest populous country of the world. And maybe this is also the reason as why (it is believed) in a decade or two India will be the most populous nation of the world.
What the heck am I scribbling now? I was about to write about AIDS awareness. But…what do I write? Yes, of course! Awareness!
So, having no work to do today, I just wandered around the streets and asked people randomly about ‘World AIDS Day’ and its importance. And what did I receive in return? Some glares and some stares, which clearly suggested that I was asking the wrong questions?
“You journalists are so fucking nonsense that you go on asking people about HIV and AIDS on the streets so openly? And how dare you ask this to a lady? Don’t you have a family?” said a respondent, who probably was in her mid 40s.
And then there was this man, rather say a youth of around my age (30+). First he glared at me and then looked around and then said, “What do you think I fuck around with anybody and everybody that I will have AIDS? You fucking moron! Seriously, Assamese journalists are a piece of garbage. Why don’t you join some school and learn the basics of journalism brother?”
And I was left wondering as what wrong did I asked? I simply asked the importance of AIDS Awareness Day!
But everybody was not harsh and I admit it with all my sincerity.
“HIV/AIDS is a very deadly disease and the disease is yet to have a cure. The disease attacks a person only due to the ignorance of the victim. The day is observed to create awareness about the disease, the way it spreads and about all the myths associated,” said this young 13-year-old boy from my neighbourhood.
“My cousin has the disease and he got infected due to some drugs sharing, I don’t know well. He was only 15 when he got the disease. Today he is 22 and brother I must say, he realised his fault quite late,” continued my young teenager friend.
“This phase of my life is very critical as this is the time when children of my age come to know about their sexuality, their carnal desires and if we sway slightly to the wrong side, I mean indulge in casual sex without protections or enter the world of drugs, then…,” he concluded.
Awesome! I felt really awesome! The future is bright and not dark.
The government has been spending crores of rupees in the name of HIV/AIDS awareness programmes and if teenagers of today are aware even to the slightest, I am sure the efforts would yield fruits.
Protection in sex is very essential and there are reports that in many states of the nation the sex workers have refused an intercourse if the guy refuses to use a condom- either a male condom or a female one.
Third position in an exam might sound good, but definitely not when it comes to HIV/AIDS!
(PS: India has the third highest population of HIV/AIDS patients of the world)