AIDS strategies designed to detect and contain the spread of the disease are clearly not working and much more needs to be done than mere rhetoric on a global basis if the disease is to be contained from spreading beyond the recognized risk groups of sex workers and drug addicts.
AdvertisementIt is here that testing for AIDS assumes massive importance. Individuals the world over, both in developed and developing countries only go for HIV testing when some symptoms become clearly apparent. But until then they unintentionally spread the disease to others and these others take on the virus and spread them to those who they come into contact with. This vicious cycle continues even though the individuals in question are unaware that they are harboring the deadly HIV virus. In such a scenario, testing for AIDS has to be made the norm rather than an exception. The world needs to come out of the social taboos associated and follow the example of African countries that are battling widespread AIDS in their own imitable ways. For example Lesotho has a KYS, or "Know Your Status," policy in place which has been taken up on a national basis so that individuals are aware of their own standing vis-ā-vis AIDS. In India, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, couples are encouraged to get themselves tested before tying the knot so that they do not inadvertently infect their partners. The need of the hour is to implement viable strategies that actually help in the fight against AIDS rather than leaders sounding off on December 1 every year. World AIDS Day was meant to remind the world that something needs to be done fast. Instead it has become a day for politicians of all hues and colors to rant and rave against AIDS and then forget about it for the next 365 days. A fresh report by UNAIDS and the World Health Organization has warned that AIDS has now entered the mainstream society in Asian countries, "It is the potential overlap between commercial sex and injecting drug use that is likely to become the main driver of China's epidemic," the reported warned. Clearly, a wake-up call fro the officialdom.