Helping Those Living With AIDS

English: The Army in conjunction with the Thai...

The Army in conjunction with the Thai Ministry of Public Health, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the National Institutes of Health, Sanofi Pasteur and Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases have uncovered successful results for an AIDS vaccination. The study was conducted at the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences in Thailand. (USAMC-AFRIMS photo) *Do not reproduce image, for DOD use only. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Problem:

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.

My purpose:

  • 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.

Expected results:

  • 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.

My Facebook Page can be found here.

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11 thoughts on “Helping Those Living With AIDS

  1. buddhakaruna says:

    Nice job Venerable!

  2. Dear Venerable,

    Your post got me to thinking, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is an illness caused by a virus. I’ve been reading and hearing quite a bit about how many of our non-self elements are various forms of microscopic life like viruses and bacteria. Some are distinguishable. Some become so integral that they cannot be differentiated from us. The transfer of the virus between people is not necessarily intentional. Moreover, the moment of transfer is but a moment. The transfer of the virus is just a small part of the moment. The moment is just a small part of all moments. Yet, it becomes for many a defining moment. I think Buddhism has a lot to offer in terms of changing the suffering associated with one moment becoming a defining moment and one virus becoming such a defining part of a person. The virus will produce suffering, which one can bear with equanimity, if one is supported and the virus and its effects are placed within the context of the greater possibilities contained in each moment.

    Just some thoughts that arose as I read your article.

    Metta.

  3. Mae_muu says:

    Good inside into a major global problem.

  4. Praduchai says:

    Yes, “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.”

  5. thesilverbodhisattva says:

    Another point to consider, is that some people can acquire the disease through means unknown to them, in cases of unintentional contamination. Without proper medical precautions or sanitation in a variety of medical fields, aids has the possibility to spread through transfusions, shared needles, and even instances of dental operations. There is also the possibility for those who are born HIV positive.

  6. SmartDC says:

    An exellent article!!! Buddhist morality can heal all. Immorality can cause tthe rouble in society. AIDS is one kind of serious diseases in the world. One of the solution is to avoid from sexual miscontuct and honestly observe Five Precepts(Sila). Taking the Buddha’s teachings into practice, we will be happy without any trouble. With much metta, sathu!!!!

  7. mae_muu says:

    Interesting article into a serious problem. Those with Aids may be plagued with thoughts of death long before death consumes them. They are missing the attention and the care that buddhism could provide through the means you had described. Those with the disease can then understand the condition that they are not alone. They can try to take advantage of the time they have. Since buddhism teaches you to only think of the moment, those affected by the disease could focus on the present moment rather than the end mean that most expect.

  8. Humble Monk says:

    There is reason to blame the people who’ve gotten infection, but there are many reasons to blame the people who knew AIDS and didn’t protect themselves. Sexual desire is one aspect of desires caused suffering. being honest with one’s couple under sexual conduct isn’t enough to stop AIDS completely. The way how to completely stop AIDS is to stop one’s desires.

  9. Venerable, your proposal contains your care and compassion for people with AIDS. Reading this proposal makes me think of the Buddha. On an occasion, there was a sick monk, and no one wanted to take care of him, even his fellow monks who had learned of compassion and loving-kindness. The Buddha himself cleaned this sick monk’s body and fed him. Loving-kindness toward those people who affected with AIDS is not only spread by teachings, but also by active action.

  10. That’s good idea for composing this article to generals because a lot of people still don’t know the correct knowledge of AIDS or HIV! As we known, The HIV/AIDS pandemic has reached critical proportions in communities throughout the world especially in South-East Asia. In South-East Asia, for a decade year, Buddhist monks, nuns, novices and lay teachers have played an increasingly important role in leading their communities to take action on both prevention and care in relation to HIV and AIDS. For example you can see Luang Por Alongkot of Wat Phrabatnamopu who devote his life for helping AIDS people who suffer with HIV/AIDS to dying with peaceful mind. This show us that Buddhism teaches us about loving-kindness to all living being especially we are humans, we should have kindness for each other.

    “Loving-kindness well practiced
    brings happiness at all times
    no matter whether you are
    sleeping or awake.”
    -The Buddha-

  11. Society in general, but more especially in Thailand, the people tend to ostracize those with a serious condition such as AIDS. Those with the condition would be shunned, turned away and be rejected from normal society. Buddhism as you insisted would be a medium to aid in the acceptance of those with the disease. It would ease the tension between “regular” society and those affected by the condition. As humans and as people, we have to look pass our differences. And the methods that you had suggested above would be a good way to mediate that.

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