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Being Compassionate to HIV patients

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It’s a kind of a virus that can damage your immune system and makes it difficult for the patient to fight with infection and disease. AIDS stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. This term is used to describe a variety of dangerous illnesses that happen when your immune system has been weakened by HIV.

The vital point to be noted by everyone is; HIV is a virus whereas AIDS is a clinical condition. AIDS is designated as a syndrome, since a group of health problems are characteristic of the disease. People often get confused between both and consider HIV and AIDS to be on similar lines. With proper medications one can control HIV very successfully and prevent themselves from developing AIDS.

Another most important thing that needs awareness is about how HIV virus is spread. HIV can spread through any kind of unprotected sex and if either one of the partner is infected. The same can happen when various types of body fluids such as semen, blood gets into the body of recipient who is not infected. Also, sharing needles or syringe that has been used to for injections on someone who has HIV can transmit the virus to a perfect healthy person. Blood transfusion should always be done through proper HIV tested and certified centers. The increase in awareness about HIV can curb this virus once and for all. The patients who are already going through the trauma of HIV or AIDS, out casting them can only result in depression for the patients.

The intense passion, love and care is what a person needs while being treated for HIV, as the disease itself is a taboo, the empathy is still lacking in our society. Before bringing in behavioural changes, change in attitude towards HIV patients is foremost. Including them during meal times, social engagements/activities will not lead to the disease being transmitted.

A separate centre for HIV positive patients is a very essential thing, and a minor initiative is a step towards a better society. The social stigma that is associated with HIV and AIDS has changed a lot over the years with various government policies and immense help from the NGOs.

Not treating HIV patients for dialysis is more of a social issue than medical. Dialysis technicians and hospitals are treating more infectious diseases like Hepatitis B and C than HIV. These areas require more and immediate attention. People with HIV infection face a lot of discrimination and the saddest part is that it all starts from their very home.

Our separate dialysis for HIV patients is a way to express that we, at Columbia Asia give patient care as an utmost important factor. We do not deny emergency hemodialysis for any life threatening condition for HIV patients.

Proper counseling is something that would be able to deal with the immense amount of stress that one has to go through when diagnosed with HIV.

HIV patients sometimes faces a lot of difficulty in getting hemo dialysis in some hospital. Despite various differences among various healthcare institutions, HIV-infected patients often have few things in common: the prognosis of a stigmatizing, and isolating them from the society. The most important aspect of the doctor is to inform the patient and help them and their family deal with the initial level of stress. The trauma of conveying and receiving a diagnosis of HIV disease has been substantially reduced, but not completely eliminated.

The patient should be well aware and educated about the basics of HIV infection so that he doesn’t transmit it to other people. There should be adequate therapy for the patients to deal with the situation. Therapy can go on safely slowly and calmly where sufficient time is taken for patient education may well result in improved decision making and medication adherence.

 BY: Dr Firozahmad.H.Torgal, Consultant Emergency Medicine, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur

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