Is our state safe from AIDS and how much aware are our people to this dreadful virus? Here's Cho's Take on the AIDS in Arunachal. This article was supposed to be featured coinciding with the World AIDS Day on December 1st, but for the delay in obtaining data on AIDS in Arunachal.
THE DREADFUL GRIP
AIDS in Arunachal is like a balloon that is being inflated stealthily and is getting ready to burst out.
by Roto Chobin
Not long ago, I watched a movie “
Despite many AIDS awareness campaigns, the number of infected HIV cases keeps rising year on year in the developing countries. Last year, According to UNAIDS report, India topped the list with over 400,000 AIDS death in 2005 and 5.7 million people were HIV-positive leaving the Africa behind the race who has 5.5 million HIV infected people. And it indicates that the people are not paying any heed to the awareness campaigns which also coerce me to think that they are turning a blind eye to the warning for sake of lust or a couple of hours of ecstasy. Hence, they pass this deadly virus to their spouses. Eventually, the children who in place of getting the care and love of their parent, they shoulder the burden of taking care of their terminally-ill parents. It may sound somewhat reassuring that the virus can hole up in the body for up to 10 years before triggering symptoms or developing into a full-blown life threatening disease provided the patient maintains healthy diet and put on an Anti-retro viral treatment. However, this is just a flicker of hope only as there is no medicine so far that can cure this terrible disease.
In Africa, HIV is mainly transmitted by sex while
Aside from benighted people, what disturbs me most is the sex trade that is gaining ground in Arunachal. It has become a cause for concern (for few people I believe, as a matter of fact) as, unlike Manipur and Nagaland, the HIV in Arunachal is contracted mostly through sexual activity. Thus, this sex trade which is often executed in clandestine will not help to control the menace of HIV. On the contrary, the virus will keep proliferating for years until it devours everyone like some horrible leviathan. Secondly, I have a good reason to believe that this illegality is something all parents should be afraid of. For instance, two years ago, I happened to see almost half a dozen of teenage girls were being holed in a police car. I wondered what wrong they could have done - prompting the cops to arrest them. I soon found out the reason behind their arrest when an acquaintance told me if I heard anything about the female sex workers who were arrested and sent back to their hometown. This incident came as a jolt. I’ve never expected our state with all its glory and naiveté could stoop so low as to become a land of pedophilia.
I wondered how these girls were made to fall into the trap of flesh trade and what incites them? I presume the lure of money alone in such a tender age is unwarranted. Is it because our society had made out the glitterati to be more reigning over the literati? And the beauty contests and its price money are given more priorities than the literary competition? Where is the need to reward the beauty queen when we all know inner beauty that counts ultimately? Don’t these things introduce promiscuity to the children at an early age? Is it the girl herself or the parents or the pimps or the society that motivate the girls to opt for sex trade? More importantly, do these girls know how the AIDS virus spread? If we assume the hearsay, then the persons who are already engaged in this profession act as a recruiting agent – enticing the young girls to a wild party and selling them to clients who usually hunt for fresh product. It pains me to put forward this question: do these clients think they’re doing the right thing by sharing a bed with minor? And there are pimps who again take advantage of their reputation and exploit them to make easy money. Then again, we cannot hold the prostitutes and pimps responsible for entire businesses, though they play a pivotal role. There are some affluent people also who is equally responsible and foster this profession by seeking their services. As for the solution, it doesn’t lie in overlooking the reality or locking up the female child in a closed door room. And the police, I fear, will fail to stop the prostitutes from carrying out their covert operation as long as the recruiting agent looms large and go unpunished. Until then, no one’s daughter is safe from harm as there’s no telling where or when your daughter will be invited to a party. And who knows, those who are hunting for pleasure and seek fresh product might end up introducing himself to his own daughter.
To conclude, it clearly manifests itself from the fact that the AIDS and sex is complimentary to each other. And, in Arunachal, HIV is definitely going to create a wanton havoc as the awareness of this smoldering threat is very low. I am not suggesting in any subtle way that there never was an AIDS awareness campaign. In fact, a lot of half-hearted awareness campaigns were conducted which addressed to a handful of audiences. However, it is not enough. They need to deliver this message to the people who are most vulnerable, not to the Gaon Buras and Buris (village elders). And the people who are assigned to propagate the AIDS awareness should help out spontaneously. Their work should not be cynic and to show off or to extract a fund from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The so-called “cultured elite” of Arunachal may sleep through the perilous hours.
So, wake up Genex!