I was shocked and embarrassed to hold a condom in my hand in front a room full of people. I did not dare to look anywhere while I was holding it in my hand.
I was wondering what am I supposed to do now. Damn, never felt this awkward about a situation and my heart was pounding like I have been running so fast for long. But, surprisingly after a while, I felt that I am quite comfortable now. I think I should stop referring to my feelings, but for some reason I just can’t stop. Next thing I realised, I have started looking at others and I felt people were more embarrassed than me. They also did not know how to react because I assume, for the first time, they were in such kind of situation.
I am sure, the way I have explained the situation, tons of negative and bad thoughts have already clouded your mind. Which is natural and this is the way the human mind actually works. Any wildest guess cannot be fitted in the situation that I have described but if anyone can guess then I would like to praise the person and for others, would request to be more considered about it.
I admit that I was glad to be in such kind of situation for the first time. I was in a room with 12 enthusiastic, self motivated and responsible Activistas who were there with me to invest their time for a burning issue like HIV/AIDS. By the way, what did you think? Let me know to have a great laugh about it later on.
Yes, we were in a HIV/AIDS workshop with a very fun loving facilitator, Veena Lakhumalani, from India. She indeed is great; her brilliant facilitation capacity and interactive presentation skill allows everyone to be comfortable under any circumstances. For my keen interest, I had been to various sessions on the basics of HIV/AIDS prevention and ways it spreads but this time it was captivating. There must be a question, why?
Why? Because, this time I was not listening rather I was having a practical exposure through the activities that Venna helped out to do for our better learning. She showed us how to use a condom properly which can prevent people becoming HIV positive. She was frank and straight about it, which is unusual as well for me. Earlier I was aware about the facts but not comfortable talking about it publically but now my perspective has changed to a different dimension.
I was born in a time when the human race can get away almost with anything with the use of newest invention of technologies but we are still struggling to come up with the medicine that can prevent people dying from HIV/AIDS. So what to do? Back to old school of human technology and that is by talking to each other. Yes it can be by e-mail, online chatting, Twitter and FaceBook as well.
But, what to talk about? Talk frankly with your friends, peers, experts and also of course ‘Google’ if you fail to talk to anyone about HIV/AIDS and the four ways it spreads: blood transfusion, sexual intercourse, breast feeding and injecting drugs
I have positively admitted the fact that the HIV positive people are among us and part of the same society that we live in, they are not outsiders
We should not stigmatise them rather be sympathetic with them and accept them just like any other people suffering from a disease. Our attitude will help them to carry on with a dignified life. I know it is easier said than done but believe me it is as easy as it is been said.
Awareness will help us to dispel the stigma and for that reason I will try my best to be responsive about the phenomenon and let others acknowledge the reality to create a world of Zero HIV/AIDS.