HIV/AIDS day celebrated with new voices

December 1, 2012: HIV/AIDS day was celebrated here in Nepal with various awareness and discussion programs. Rallies and banners were seen in streets with people voicing this year’s slogans of “Getting to Zero”.  Among such one program was organized here at Thapathali Rotary club by the Rotaract Kastamandap and Social Service Awareness Raising and Advocacy for Tranquility and Humanity (SAATH).

Goma Rai, President of Shakti Milan Samaj said, “The issue of HIV/AIDS has been manipulated at policy level as there is so much money being poured in but on real grounds, we the infected people  lack resources, identity and facilities.  We have been discriminated and marginalized in various ways, the HIV/AIDS infected patients are dying due to lack of resources and there are big conferences and seminars happening in our name, what’s the use?  Even the government fails to realize this as today on HIV/AIDS day the government has organized a national level conference at a five star in Phulbar, Pokhara and has a registration fee NRS 7000 with NRS 2000 discount for the HIV /AIDS infected. What’s the use when women infected with HIV/AIDS are dying due to lack of resources?  With this money we can manage the living of 3 to 4 days for the HIV/AIDS patients. She informed that currently they have around 90 HIV/AIDS infected women under the society.”

Making it loud and clear she said even the government authorities are careless and ignorant on the issue where we have to wait for services and facilities.

Laxman Maharjan, President of SAATH said, “HIV/AIDS is not a just a disease, it’s a social problem that attacks you from all sides. We at SAATH believe in working at ground level people where you have to be prepared to accept change.  We have been advocating for the rights of the HIV/AIDS infected patients at different levels. Even at hospitals the doctors they refuse to treat the HIV/AIDS infected patients and we have been trying to advocate their rights.  Furthermore, we have tried to spread the awareness with different programs like radio show (the human face) and we make regular visits to different schools and colleges for awareness sessions.”

Reality of today, is millions of dollars are being allotted for HIV/AIDS infected patients where the big INGOs and NGOs are doing business.  But at ground level only a fraction of money reaches the infected victims that too go through different networks where the money is drained before it reaches the patients. In the same different conferences and seminars are being conducted on the name of HIV/AIDS patients where on contrary thousands of HIV/AIDS Infected patients die due to lack of resources.  So how feasible is it for the HIV/AIDS patients to suffer due to lack of resources when millions of dollars are being raised and gained in their name.

Further in the program Radio Jockey Sabeena Karki was felicitated for her contribution of hosting the Program  The Human Face  in Kantipur FM.