HIV/AIDS WORK OF THE MISSION HOSPITAL (INDIA)
(Written by Dr. K. Syam Kumar in August 2013)
I remember the days when the people of India were very much afraid of the HIV/AIDS disease. At that time, there was a tremendous lack of knowledge on how the disease was transmitted. On the news it said that HIV/AIDS was spread in our area in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s. Since its beginning, it spread like a wildfire.
Many young taxi and truck drivers died when they were 18 – 22 years old. I knew many young, innocent boys who died, and their families also experienced deaths from the disease. Even the educated people treated people who had HIV/AIDS as untouchables. I knew one doctor who stayed 20 feet away from an HIV/AIDS patient, who was his own relative. Many have died because no one knew about the disease. Because of this lack of knowledge and the desperate situation in India regarding the disease, it was treated as a huge plague and CURSE, which was killing thousands of people. Many thousands of other people who had the disease committed suicide, and many others were excommunicated by their families.
In this desperate situation, God gave you a VISION to help the helpless people of India by giving them proper information about HIV/AIDS. With this vision and your financial support and help, we were able to reach many thousands of people who had HIV/AIDS, and many millions of other people were given proper information about the disease. With some of the information you provided about HIV/AIDS, with your help we printed a booklet, which gives information about the disease and about Jesus Christ, our Eternal Savior. This booklet was titled: FOLLOW JESUS, PREVENT AIDS (subtitled: the Biblical Basis for Sexual Abstinence to Avoid AIDS). This booklet talks about abstinence, remaining pure and faithful in marriage, and having a relationship with Jesus Christ.
With your financial support, we printed the booklet in the Telugu language. After that, we printed it in 21 other languages of India. More than 6 million copies were distributed by pastors throughout India. This booklet was distributed in churches, schools, colleges, universities, door-to-door, Hindu temples, and Hindu pilgrim places. Seminars to share the proper information about HIV/AIDS were also conducted at function halls, community halls, near Hindu temples, and near Hindu pilgrim places where millions will come to dip in rivers. At the Godavari River alone, 70 million people came to take a “holy” dip in 2005.
As a result of the information contained in the booklet, its free distribution, and seminars conducted, many millions of people were prevented from contracting HIV/AIDS. My pastors and I estimate that through the distribution of the booklet and the seminars conducted, 48 MILLION LIVES HAD BEEN REACHED WITH THE PROPER INFORMATION ON HIV/AIDS. In some slum areas, the percentage of the population affected was over 10%; in some slums it was over 20%. AFTER WE CONDUCTED SEMINARS AND DISTRIBUTED THE BOOKLET IN OUR OWN AREA, NO NEW CASES OF HIV/AIDS HAVE BEEN REPORTED SINCE 2010.
Dr. Kumar and a man with AIDS. Reportedly the man was chased away by his family and the community. The Mission Hospital treated him through these years and now his illness is under control and he is back to having a regular life and work.
In the beginning of the HIV/AIDS plague, for every 200 people examined at the Mission Hospital, 5 were diagnosed with the disease. BUT AFTER THIS BOOKLET WAS DISTRIBUTED AND SEMINARS WERE CONDUCTED, NOT A SINGLE NEW CASE HAS BEEN DETECTED. Because of this booklet and seminars, members of a family did not leave a member who had HIV/AIDS, but the entire family kept living together. This has also kept many children from becoming orphans. Through the Mission Hospital, many HIV/AIDS patients were treated and given food when they were excommunicated. Many orphan children were given sustenance in their families and homes.
We thank you for this wonderful mission, which has reached and saved millions of lives with the messages on how to prevent and avoid HIV/AIDS, how to educate the people on the disease, and how to remain pure in Jesus Christ to fight the battle of the “flesh.” May God bless you and your family.
Dr. K. Syam Kumar, Rajahmundry, India
© 2013 Mission Welfare International