Appeal to teach AIDS awareness

PUBLISHED: 12:11 16 February 2006 | UPDATED: 11:33 04 May 2010

Appeal to teach AIDS awareness

Appeal to teach AIDS awareness

THE Diocese of Ely has launched an appeal to support the work of AIDS awareness in the Diocese of Vellore in South India. The money raised will help to fight ignorance and develop a better understanding of the issues surrounding AIDS and its sufferers.

THE Diocese of Ely has launched an appeal to support the work of AIDS awareness in the Diocese of Vellore in South India.

The money raised will help to fight ignorance and develop a better understanding of the issues surrounding AIDS and its sufferers.

AIDS is a major problem in Vellore. Four years ago, very few people realised AIDS even existed in this region. Now it has become not simply a medical problem, but also a social one.

Victims of the virus are treated in the same way as those suffering with Leprosy - outcast because their friends and families are mistakenly terrified of becoming infected by touching them or even talking to them. Often, the whole family of an AIDS sufferer is shunned for fear of infection.

So great is the dread of the virus and so serious the stigma and shame of being diagnosed HIV positive, that many people in Vellore would rather commit suicide than admit their illness to their families.

There is a desperate need for good medical treatment and support for the orphans and dependants of those who die from AIDS. But equally, many more need to be educated and informed about the virus. Knowing how to prevent and treat infection is vital - and so is understanding that sufferers can remain living amongst their friends and families without infecting them.

INFO: Owen Spencer-Thomas on 01223 358448.

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