AIDS has become a major problem within Thailand in the last twenty years. The disease has taken so many lives that the amount has become immeasurable. The main problem is that Thai society has felt animosity towards the people affected by this disease. The people affected with AIDS are mostly shunned and turned away. Society lacks acceptance of this particular group of people. Because we cannot control the spread of the disease, there are more than 1 million Thai people affected with AIDS. Most of the people are not even aware that they are infected. Because they are unaware of their sickness, this disease is continually spread through the population. Another problem with AIDS is the lack of knowledge and awareness about the disease. The population of Thailand is careless due to this fact. They take fewer precautions, especially in the teenager and college student population. There has been an increase of infection by 35% in the past few years. This is the worst problem within Thailand in the present time.
Plan and Explanation:
Those infected with the disease become so usually due to their sexual behaviors or the sexual behaviors of their partners. For example, it could be due to alcohol, drugs, prostitutes and etc. The increase in the infection rate is also due to sexual misconduct (which is the third precept within Buddhism). Monks perform the teachings of good moral conduct for the entire Buddhist community. This project is to prevent the further spread of AIDS and spread the awareness within society to be accepting of those living with the disease. This project would also teach kindness and understanding. This basic teaching of the Buddha is necessary for us to live together and to not shun those with the disease. Most important, this is for the motivation to show those living with AIDS that they are not alone. The Buddhist religion teaches that we should have kindness for each other. This project is intended to be the medium to show this kindness, to spread the awareness of AIDS, and provide a support network for those living with AIDS.
The three rules that have to be remembered:
1. The way to understand those living with AIDS: We have to understand that those living with AIDS have been rejected from society and they live in emotional turmoil due to this neglect. Thus, monks have to be the leaders by showing compassion from the heart. They must fill in the gap where society can not. The things that must be provided for the population living with AIDS are clothes, food, shelter and medicine. This also includes schools, hospitals and employment for this particular population. This is to help those living with the disease go on with their normal lives. They must also be provided with love and kindness so their morale increases.
2. The correct method of living with those who have AIDS: We have to set an example using our practice of the Buddhist religion. This includes showing kindness, be caring of other people, especially those with the infection who are sick. There has to be no animosity and disgust between anyone.
3. Method of educating about AIDS and the prevention of AIDS: This is a way to teach the morality and ethics that could not only contribute to the prevention of AIDS but helping the AIDs victims gain the approval of society. The main teachings are those of the Five Precepts are: to not be greedy, to not envious, be happy with what you have, do not lie, and have awareness of the present time.
- This is to provide an action plan on how to solve this terrible problem.
- To decrease the spread of infection within Thailand and the world.
- To build an awareness and kindness for those living with the disease.
- To provide a resource for world organizations on how to handle and solve this important problem.
- To be a prime example on how to solve this problem by using the teachings of Buddhism as the base of understanding.
- The population would have a better understanding of how to prevent the spread of the disease.
- The decrease in the percentage of people contracting the infection and disease.
- Society and family members would be able to live in harmony with those infected by the disease.
- Organizations would put a further emphasis on the prevention of AIDS.
- An increase in support for those affected by the disease.
- Monks would have the responsibility of spreading awareness to Thai society as well as kindness to those affected.
- The image of Thailand would improved throughout the world.
- THE FIFTH PRECEPT PROJECT Reducing Substance Abuse in Thailand… (dharmadialogue.wordpress.com)