THERE IS AIDS SO THERE IS AID. And, nobody will deny this fact at least in Nepali context.
No matter in whatever grounds the authorities try to justify the haphazard expending of the funds in the name of prevention and control of AIDS, for Nepal, there is HIV so there is aid.
In the background of, the AIDS pandemic, if there was no concentrated epidemic in the country, such a huge amount of money would not flow into Nepal through different channels. Thanks to the notorious retrovirus, it has let some people here to cash in on.
Who has cared about the people infected with HIV? Both the government and the dollar-making NGO domain have been of no avail to the target groups as a matter of fact. Otherwise, why no easy and accessible availability of the ARV medicines to the infected?
I have one experience to recall. Some months ago, I had been to the Epidemiology & Disease Control Division, Department of Health Services, Teku. In a dirty toilet of the laboratory building, I, by chance, saw two girls doing something. One was standing with her trousers half open and the other leaning down was pricking needle in the butt. What were they doing?
By appearance, the former was very rough: ill clad, lean and thin and tattoos in her arms. I asked one of my friends out there working in the lab what they might be doing. By my description of the event and appearance, he smiled for a while and said, “The girl, a former drug addict, routinely comes for the CD4 count.”
Phew! The HIV positives and the suspected are sent to dirty lavatories for drawing blood sample! Why do trained health professionals hesitate to help them draw blood? Don’t you see any stigma in such cases?
Anyways. On the eve of the World AIDS 2006, the US government has announced a big sum as aid for Nepal to curb the HIV/AIDS.
Only money is not enough to fight the disease. Grit and determination, vision and leadership, honesty and transparency too are called for. My suggestion to the stakeholders is: Don’t make the most of the disease in monetary terms only; come forward with feasible plans to fight the HIV/AIDS.