cACTus+ Activity With MGD Girls’ School Students On World Aids Day
- JWB Post
- December 1, 2016
It is Day Two of the AIDS campaign cACTus+ and we headed towards MGD Girls’ School! During its first day, the children from Rays played, they giggled, they snatched paint brushes from each other, spilled paint, rubbed chalk off, but at the end of the activity, the pots made by the HIV+ children were a perfect replica of them.
Remember how on the first day, we collected cactus pots from two schools of Jaipur? We made our way to the premises of MGD Girls’ School, where we had to return those painted pots back and share a little AIDS awareness conversation with the children. Mrs. Geeta Saxena escorted us to class 9D that had students from different classes. We seated our cactus pots in the front rows.
A lot of girls entered and looked at the cactus pots in confusion.
“Confused, are we? These cactus pots are painted by the HIV+ children at Rays. The kids are now sitting amongst you.” I said.
The girls smiled and some looked at each other.
I asked them a few questions about AIDS, and I wasn’t surprised that a lot of them didn’t know about the condition.
“What’s the difference between AIDS and HIV?” I asked the class.
“HIV is the virus and AIDS is the syndrome,” Sanchi, a student of MGD Girls’ School answered.
“Did the rest of you know?” I asked.
Most of them nodded their heads in negative.
“Does HIV spread from touching and kissing?”
Sanchi prompted again, “You have to drink one bucket of saliva of the infected person to get AIDS.”
Wow! Even we didn’t know that!
I asked them a few more AIDS-related questions and handed them over cACTus+ leaflets, on the backside of which, they were supposed to write what they felt AIDS patients go through, and the common AIDS stereotypes.
“I think they feel a bit scared to tell people that they have AIDS,” Aarushi Mathur said.
“I think that they suffer from severe body ache, they cannot run or play like us. As they get older, they get weaker. It is a fatal disease and they cannot survive, the infected persons get physically and mentally weak,” said Mahak Gour.
“Maybe they can’t stay, or hang out with people as they get infected through touch. They might take a long time to recover from the disease. They are discouraged by the society as if they aren’t a part of us,” Akshita Rathore wrote.
“Not only society, but even the family keeps a distance from their family members if they have the syndrome,” Dr. Ratna Sharma expressed.
“Their immunity is pretty low. They have a mild fever all the time. They might get tired before we do,” Sanchi Mehra added.
After they handed over their leaflets to me, we asked them to make a wish for the infected children. One by one, they got up and whispered a wish into the ears of the cactus pots.
It’s been thirty years since the advancement in AIDS treatment, and the treatment is progressing every day. It is time for us to stop being ignorant and embrace the truth.
- AIDS does not spread through touching or kissing
- AIDS does not spread through breathing the same air as the infected ones.
- AIDS is DIFFERENT from HIV+. While HIV is the virus, AIDS is the condition
- AIDS is also an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease). It spreads through a sexual contact!
- Yes AIDS spreads through blood!
Be aware because ignorance isn’t ALWAYS a bliss, sometimes it stops us from being broad-minded.
Photo Courtesy – Himanshu Goel