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by Arpita Nepal, Nepal

As I see it, the main reason is unsafe sex due to the lack of awareness, and, moreover, even if the people do know about AIDS, they neglect it. Those who know about it do not exactly understand its severity which is very surprising. People still are under the assumption that it will never get them no matter what they do. So to some extent it may be due to the lack of education, but i feel that the greater part is because people think that if they don't believe in AIDS they will never get it.

Sex education I think has recently started from the higher secondary level. There is accessible information; i.e., if the young people are interested in it. But the problem here seems to be the lack of interest in knowing such serious matters. Most of the projects working to fight this disease are constantly trying to reach the school students through various programs, but "sex" is not an openly-discussed matter here in Nepal. So it wouldn't be very surprising to find very few people actually interested in such education.

Some people who have their own relatives suffering from AIDS do seem to have accepted them and seem to be trying to help them live their lives peacefully. However we still do have a large part of the community who have not heard about AIDS, and when they do eventually meet the victims these conservative part are not ready to accept them which is a very sad fact. The NGO's working against AIDS are trying their level best to raise some awareness in this matter. The government also has made some television shows, and it has also started various projects with the joint efforts of the NGO's to raise awareness. But for the present people even if they do know about aids are not very willing to mingle with the victims.

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Reconstruction: July-August-September 2002

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