Break­ing Taboos

Southasia - - Editor's Mail -

I was very happy to read an ar­ti­cle ex­plor­ing South Asian at­ti­tudes to­wards HIV/AIDS. Un­for­tu­nately, in our so­ci­ety, the topic is treated as taboo and very few in­sti­tu­tions work to break this bar­rier. The dis­ease, if you will, gains im­mense at­ten­tion but is se­verely frowned upon and few so­cial mech­a­nisms ex- ist to ad­dress the prob­lem or re­ha­bil­i­tate the vic­tims. Very of­ten, vic­tims are os­tra­cized that only fur­ther adds to the para­noia and un­just treat­ment they are ac­corded. South Asian so­ci­eties are cul­tur­ally and re­li­giously very strong, reen­force fam­ily val­ues and place great em­pha­sis on fe­male moral­ity. How­ever, HIV/AIDS re­mains one of the lead causes of death in the same re­gion which is swamped with pros­ti­tu­tion and sex traf­fick­ing. Re­li­gious be­liefs con­vince many to frown upon vic­tims and at­tribute aver­sion. It was eye open­ing to dis­cover in your fea­tured ar­ti­cle that many med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als are also com­plicit in the ac­tiv­ity when they know­ingly ad­min­is­ter pre-used in­jec­tions, fully aware of the risks. It is crit­i­cal that our so­ci­eties ad­dress this chal­lenge and ram­pant dis­ease, which can only be cured through ex­ten­sive aware­ness cam­paigns and re­spon­si­ble med­i­cal prac­tices.

Mehr Karim, Colombo, Sri Lanka

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