How is the HIV primarily spread in India?
Interestingly, the virus is spread by truck drivers having unsafe sex. In India, commercial goods are primarily transported by truck. The main route or artery if you will, runs north-south length of the country. From this are branch routes that serve the entire breadth of the nation. So truck drivers go all over. One infected driver can pass on the virus to several women in just a single journey. As a result, due to AIDS, the trucking industry itself is at risk as the number of drivers dwindle over time.
The infected women then bear children with the virus.
Given medication, do the children have a good chance of living a full life?
Yes! The medications available today are quite effective. As long as an infected person is treated, he/she can live a full, productive life. A child therefore should be able to look forward to adulthood, a career and leading a pretty normal life. It goes without saying that the key is to provide the medication throughout.
Is adopting these children possible?
Sadly this is a complicated matter. Because of the extensive paper work and the lack of assurance that all the needs of the child with HIV will be adequately addressed, most orphanages have opted out of the adoption program. At Mukta Jeevan, the caring nuns feel they can do what is best for the children. From what I’ve seen, I believe they’re right.
What is the best way to help?
The best way to help is to donate money so it can be used for the various vital needs. Apart from medicine, the children need food, clothing, good living quarters and a decent education.
If anybody happens to be in a position to visit and would like to meet the children, they are always welcomed. After all, to know someone is to care.
How do organizations like the Clinton Foundation manage to distribute the drugs for free or very little money?
I love how this works because, when nations come together, amazingly great things can be achieved.
Because the HIV/AIDS medications are rather expensive and certainly beyond the reach of the majority of the infected populations in the world, some countries decided to do something about it and formed UNITAID. UNITAID is an international facility for the purchase of drugs against HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. They pool the money obtained from taxes such as airport tax ( e.g. France, Malaysia) and carbon tax ( Norway, certain South American countries) to purchase the necessary drugs. These are then handed over to non-profit organizations like the WHO and Clinton Foundation for distribution. Pretty cool right?
Once the children grow up, what next?
It is hoped that once the children grow up, they will be able to support themselves and live independently. For this to happen, they must be given a good education and taught skills that will permit them to earn a living. This is why the world must resolve to not forget the children. They too deserve what our healthy children take for grated.