Feminism Fodder

World AIDS Day

Today, December 1st, is recognised as World AIDS Day.

Now, we are all probably aware of how AIDS is transmitted and I’m not here to teach you. (Just so you know — it’s through bodily fluids and not by shaking hands with someone who is HIV+)

One thing I’ve noticed though is the misconception that people tend to have: HIV positive is not automatically equivalent to having AIDS! HIV positive just makes you more susceptible to getting an infection and thus getting AIDS. Yet another misconception is that AIDS is a “gay man’s” disease. Well, guess what? In fact, straight women currently make up about 50 percent of the population that are HIV positive. And can you believe that the number of people living with HIV has risen from around 8 million in 1990 to 33 million around the end of 2008? And we say we are advancing. Sadly, it’s in countries within the African continent and South Asia where majority of the people are infected. And even more sadly, ostracised.

I would like to recommend an eye-opening documentary I watched recently as part of work. It’s called A Closer Walk. The doco follows the AIDS epidemic in South Africa, Uganda, India, Nepal, Cambodia, Ukraine, Switzerland and some of the states in the US. I was most shocked at the plight of individuals in Africa as well as the plight of women in India. Yes. I did say women. Did you know in India, there is a particular place (kinda like a hospice) in Chennai where they dump women infected with HIV positive??? It appalled and disgusted me. You can see the male chauvinistic attitude seep through even with an epidemic like AIDS. Mind you, the husbands of these women also get infected but go on and marry another woman and infect her as well. And it goes on and on.

At the end of the day though, it is important to not discriminate against individuals that are HIV positive or that have AIDS. It is important to have safe sex — wear a condom! And it is important to educate the uneducated about HIV positive and AIDS.

If you are in Australia, check this out for some of the events around AIDS awareness in your area.

ETA: Proud to say this post was chosen as Blogadda’s Tangy Tuesday Picks

Until next time,


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  • Reply
    December 1, 2009 at 5:05 am

    are you serious about that place in Chennai? i don’t know what to say. how can they do something like this? where is all the common sense? how can a man walk out, marry and infect others when they treat women like this. sucks.

  • Reply
    December 1, 2009 at 5:20 am

    Great post. Also important to point in that many children and people get infected through their parents. So not only doing they have a mother with it they themselves have it. Imagine being a kid with it…This was brought to my eyes through a great radio program I listened to a couple of years ago..about children who are HIV+

  • Reply
    December 1, 2009 at 5:23 am

    Pathetic to know that even here women are given secondary treatment….

  • Reply
    December 1, 2009 at 5:59 am

    PB, have you watched My brother Nikhil or something similar. It dealt with the issue in a much better way. As you mentioned, people assume that HIV + means AIDS and shun them immediately.

  • Reply
    December 1, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Interesting info! Every year, we celebrate world’s Aids day but how many are really aware?

    I remember a joke of a doctor who was educating some villagers about aids. He told them to use protection during sex and he demonstrated it by putting a condom on a stick. After 1 month when he came back to the village, he found out that everyone were using the condom on a stick, placing it beside the bed before having sex. lol

    Good work Psych 🙂

  • Reply
    December 1, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Yesterday I too was reading an article about an intense debate on AIDS being a ‘gay-mans’ disease or not.There are several misconceptions these days.Awareness is the only option.Thank you for sharing.

    “male chauvinistic attitude”- That is a phrase that I strongly oppose to.While there are cases like you mentioned ,i don’t think it is proper to classify all men to be exhibiting the same behaviour.

    If so,female chauvinistic attitude also do exist!like the feminist belief that all men are considered irreconcilable rapists, wife-beating brutes etc.

    Just felt like pointing it out,certainly doesn’t wish to start a heated discussion 😀 😀

    Have a great day! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 1, 2009 at 7:16 am

    Yes it’s very sad when HIV+ve people are ostracized. They really need our support & that time, & we often let them down! 🙁

  • Reply
    December 1, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Somewhere I feel there is an element of commercialization everywhere, even in medicine.How long will it take to come up with some sort of vaccination or cure for AIDS or cancer? I hope I never find out that it was deliberately delayed.

  • Reply
    December 1, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    one thing i noticed in ur post u have written AIDs not AIDS. which one is correct?

  • Reply
    Pins N Ashes
    December 2, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Wow wow:)))))))) So PB when’s the party….

  • Reply
    Pins N Ashes
    December 2, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    There were recent cases where children of parents infected with the virus was debarred from schools in states of Kerala n Tamil Nadu. In some cases, the parents died alone (no medical help) or committed suicide unable to cope with the pressure from the society for normal life… People shd be educated n made aware of, hope there is an end to this dreaded menance!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Yes many are confused between AIDS and HIV +ve

  • Reply
    December 19, 2009 at 5:15 am

    Even i didnt know about HIV+ve and AIDS..so you saying that if you are HIV+ve you are only susceptible to have AIDS?

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