Saturday, December 1, 2007

World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS day.

The United Nations says there are more then 33million people afflicted with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and ultimately at risk of developing AIDS (Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome).

Many steps have been taken to curtail the spread of this virus in Malaysia. From a gynaecologist form of view, I would applaud the following steps (that are already in affect):
1. The screening of couples who intend to marry
2. Universal screening in pregnant women.
However, I also note, with certain sadness, that not all are subjected to the above 2 steps. Premarital screening is not yet mandatory for all religions and all states. But, at least we are heading in the right direction. Whereas for pregnant women, there is no law that obliges pregnant women or their caregivers to perform this screening at antenatal care.

We can also acheive much more by advocating the use of condoms. Many other diseases can be prevented by simply using the condom. Human papillomavirus (HPV), for instance, is another virus that can be prevented in the same manner. HPV is closely associated with cancer of the uterine cervix (mouth of the womb).

The battle against AIDS is an on-going one. We all have a small role to play in it. As parents, we can educate our young about AIDS. As friends, we can help spread the word to our close ones. All of us are 'arm-chair' critics in one way or the other, often leaving the authorities to fight out a lonely battle. Why don't you chip in?

Why don't you start something? A simple SMS to 5 close people perhaps....

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