HIV awareness fails to change public mindset

GULMI: Public awareness on HIV/AIDS has been unable to inculcate positive perception in the people towards the sufferers of the disease. Even today, the HIV positive are looked down upon in the society. As a result, the infected still feel reluctant to face the public revealing their disease and plight.

Juna Gyawali , chairman of Hamro Jivan Plus, an organisation working for the welfare of the HIV-infected people here, said they had difficulty in finding space for their office since some people have a wrong belief that the disease gets transferred even through mosquito bites.

Gyawali, who has been infected with HIV for a decade, said she was effortful to make people aware about the disease.

Tej Kumari Budhathoki (29), a permanent resident of Hasara VDC, knew only two years ago that she had been caught by the disease. It had been transferred through her husband, who had been employed in a foreign country. The couple works for the organisation now.

Their five-year-old daughter was also not spared by the disease. Tej Kumari said they had not got a respectable place in the society. The Budhathokis shared that the HIV-infected who have got the support of their family members are, however, not received negatively by the society.

National Rura Community Development Centre and Bagmati Service Society have been working for the welfare of the HIV-positive in the district. BSS coordinator Bishnu Belbase said the disease was mostly brought in by the people returning homes from employment in India.