mid-day editorial: A lesson we can take from the AIDS cause

Dec 01, 2017, 06:09 IST | mid-day correspondent

As Mumbai joins the world in observing World AIDS Day today, there are a slew of events lined up to generate awareness about the issue

As Mumbai joins the world in observing World AIDS Day today, there are a slew of events lined up to generate awareness about the issue. And yet, it is important to let this day serve as a reminder of all that remains to be done, of the discrimination and stigma that the afflicted continue to face.

That said, the HIV/AIDS cause has greatly benefited from the exposure it has received from such initiatives. While misconceptions still abound, awareness is at an all-time high. This is partly because of the strong celebrity quotient attached to the movement. A number of top actors, philanthropists and other famous people are associated with the cause. One name immediately comes to mind - Richard Gere.

The success of the fight against AIDS proves that exposure helps bring a disease into mainstream recognition. Funds pour in, and it is a great support for patients and the medical community, as it makes treatment that much easier.

People working in the space of other diseases may want to see just how the HIV/Aids cause has charted its trajectory to make its mark society’s radar. We would like to see similar awareness for mental disorders, especially in India. Support for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), for instance, or depression, liver disease, etc - these are causes that could use some help.

When visibility increases, so do the attempts to bust myths and falsehoods, tackle stigma and prejudice. Not just those afflicted, but even those who fight for them stand to benefit from this, as society will be more willing to step up and help. More power to the red ribbon signifying the AIDS cause. For those who do not know, the pink ribbon draws attention to breast cancer. Like we say, knowledge is the power to defeat the disease.

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