Monday, May 04, 2009

A Conversation - Swine Flu/AIDS

90 people get #swineflu and everyone wants to wear a mask; A million people have AIDS & no one wants to wear a condom !!
This was my last twitter update as well as facebook and Google Talk status message, when I received a ping on the same from an outspoken friend of mine from college, Vijay (name changed). Here's a transcript of the same:

Vijay: You do realize tht swine flu spreads thru air..but HIV does not

me: But the stats still stand correct
Millions do have AIDS
and you realize AIDS is everywhere in the world, and Swine Flu just 15-16 countries
the number of ppl susceptible to Swine Flu is still smaller than the number of those having sex all over

Vijay: well...thts a matter of choice..if wanna play unprotected...but thts not the case with swine me not sayin AIDS is a small issue......
if u knw and still take risk...its a diff thing rite?

me: Yes, thats the point
Ppl r willing to take risk for AIDS, which they are much more prone to, while they're willing to go to unprecedented limits to avert SwineFlu, the probability of getting which is one in a hundred million

Vijay: the reason is...ppl feel they wont get HIV tht easily..or tht their behaviour is alrite....the thing is when it comes to the point where u need a condom....u r accepting tht ur bejaviour is not the one it ought to be...

me: What behaviour?

Vijay: wht i mean is....u need condom=>u dont know the history of ur partner...=>u most probably r with a hooker..

me: That's probably the very reason beind such statistics relating to AIDS

Vijay: but the thing is unlike HIV....even if u knw abt swie flu....u cannot be safe without wearing masks...
just by being on ur best behaviour u cannot counter it

me: Actually, you cannot be safe even wearing a mask

Vijay: well u r better off with it....the other option is to do wht mexico did...
shit down
tht was a typo :D

me: Masks are unnecesarry
[Only people in contact with a sick person are advised to wear the mask. Also, the mask isn’t a 100-percent guarantee.--CNBC]
As for the better off thing, tht applies to condoms too

Vijay: u still dont get ma point....ppl who know about HIV...and still get it (xept thru blood transfusion) are choosing to get it...
not the case with swine flu

me: So getting AIDS is "better" than getting Swine Flu then?

Vijay: no....if u get is ur fault!!HIV i.e..(again in most cases)...and am not sayin tht they shud to be left to thier defenses.....

me: And they would apply a condom if they were conscious they were getting AIDS
*or that they were "choosing" to get it

Vijay: xactly...those who knw about HIV an still get it...are choosing to get it
just sayin tht the two situations cannot be compared

me: Yes, but millions are doing it, without being aware that they may be contracting AIDS
while the same may be buying masks

Vijay: thts a question of awareness.....nt ..abt "want" to use a condom,
and they r usin a mask..coz they knw

me: most college students are aware of AIDS
So are most proffessional sex workers
yet all of em dont use it (or dont "want" to)

Vijay: then collg students r choosing to hv it..

me: Not that I care abt their lives in particular, but they shudnt
they may go on to give AIDS to others
future spouse, blood transfusion, common needles/blades

Vijay: so its abt awareness
I think they shud make it legal for HIV status certi shud be made compulsory

me: neways, while we're all worried to death abt an estranged and rare disease
Why doesn't AIDS make headlines?

Vijay: we are more worrid abt swine flu..more thn we apparently care abt HIV coz..we can avoid the latter almost certainly thru self control

me: But we dont

Vijay: Y doesnt HIV make headlines.....coz it spreads maily thru sexual promiscuity...and thts not somethin we like to talk abt....

me: Well, why not?
Anyways, do you read my blog?

Vijay: Sometimes

me: Well, our chat will be going up on it.

Vijay: ?

me: I will publish our chat history on my blog, with some edits in a few hours

Vijay: K, sure... keep ma name out tho..if u can....

me: Sure, "name changed". Btw, any preferences for a false name?

Vijay: leave tht to u
i trust ur sense on tht :D

me: hehe, k then

Vijay: chal..byee

me: k, bye

I really don't know what to make out of the conversation, just felt it's worth sharing.

By the way, while the swine flu outbreak was recently raised to a phase 5 alert level, AIDS is an official pandemic(a higher alert level). More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since it was first recognized in 1981, while another 35 million or so currently live with HIV. Infact, while the total number of confirmed deaths due to Swine Flu till date is twenty six (and about another seventy suspected), atleast another one lakh sixty thousand (or one hundred sixty thousand) have died of AIDS in the same time. (5 people die of AIDS every minute, so count yourself)

I hope you enjoyed reading my conversation with Vijay (name changed). And believe me when I say, your comments are, more than ever before, welcome.



Anonymous said...

u missed tht part about the feedburner :P

Satyabrata said...

This Vijay(or should i say ' Anti condom guy') should realise people have sex for pleasure , intimacy and others reasons(sure everyone knows about it ), not to play a game of roulette with AIDS.

The use of condom is just limited to talks. It is not a question about choosing to contract HIV.
The reason primarily being short-sighted mentality, we grown used to hearing about AIDS since we were born.

Today we measure the danger of AIDS
just in terms of chance.

I hope your blog goes on further to open a few more eyes

P.S. No offence intended to Mr.Vijay

Yuvy said...

Problem when it comes to using condom in India is a matter of shame sometimes. Many people especially the youngsters and teenagers in India are ashamed to go to a chemist shop and ask for a condom. Even the chemist give them a bad look when the youngsters ask for it, as if they r committing some crime. So people r kind of reluctant to use condoms. While some people r so cautious that they carry a condom in their wallet. Such people are laughed upon, so you see its a matter of attitude which is a problem out here.

Samar R P said...

Mr. Vijay(name changed) should realize that the topic was not whether a condom should be used or not; rather he should realize that the talk was the things that remain in public memory are ones which present a more immediate danger.

abhimanyu lamba said...

hey shrey.. long tym...
always good to read your blogs...
totally agree with yuvi about the shame thing though i wish something could be done about it . its really very difficult to get on the same page with the west about these issues without the proper education that has to be imbibed in us from the grassroot level. parents and school should encourage all this talk. and as far as the media is concerned i feel since swine flu (or the 2009 H1N1 virus as it is now called) is relatively newer than and very few people know about it, ergo the hype. as much as we should care about preventing aids, we cannot let this new problem catch us unaware. anyways lets hope we stay away from them both by staying aware and taking precautions.

Anonymous said...

1>I don't think he was being anti-condom(although i'd personally prefer emphasis on stuff like abstinence) ...the topic i think he wanted to discuss was how u just cannot compare ppl not wearin condoms..and ppl wearing masks.
2>HIV mainly spreads thru the sex-for-pleasure part.
3>Its a question of awareness..and keeping issues in public eye is an easy way to keep people cautious.

Anonymous said...
tht shud give an idea how big this is...2 out of 6..i.e 1in 3ppl
kinda points to wht Vijay says