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After completing my bachelors in dentistry from Agra University, I joined a government hospital in New Delhi as a Junior Resident. It was here that I first came across the practicality that patient face for their treatment and especially if they are suffering from a disease like HIV. Here many HIV patients were diagnosed with the disease and a few undiagnosed. The characteristic intraoral presentation of lesions associated with HIV infection helped me in provisionally diagnosing a few cases. Due to the social stigma and fear such patients hesitate or hide their disease even from doctors. Still a lot of myths are associated with HIV and AIDS, which becomes a big reason for patient’s embarrassment. Moreover, the poor financial status of the affected population leads them to a merciless death. This curiosity to serve and know more about such neglected and underserved people developed a determination in me to do my masters in dentistry in such a field that will help me to serve more such patients. It was then that I decided to do my masters in public health dentistry where I learned about epidemiology, health education and preventive measures. During the three years of my post graduation I conducted several camps in the rural areas of Mathura district. This gave me an opportunity to educate and motivate people about various infectious diseases and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. A self satisfaction developed in me after I saw the increased awareness in this population regarding health problems. I started searching more about the places where illiteracy and cultural values stopped people from seeking medical help for even most fatal diseases like HIV. The only possible solution that I found appropriate for this problem was to self approach them. This led me to join a college in Rajasthan (western India) as a senior lecturer in the department of Public Health Dentistry after my post graduation. During these four years in this institute I have conducted over 200 camps mostly in the rural areas of Jodhpur district in association with many NGOs. On individual basis I tried to serve special children such as mentally challenged, blind and deaf, orphanages, old age homes, stone mine workers and the prisoners of central jail, Jodhpur. During these camps it was my first priority to find out people with HIV infection and encourage and help them to seek treatment in order to live a healthy life. To highlight the diseases affecting this part of the country I have conducted several studies, out of which many of them got published. I have authored around 30 articles in both National and International journals. I have served as a reviewer for 8 journals 6 of which are international. During my camps in central jail, Jodhpur we diagnosed a few HIV patients and counseled them about the myths and realities. During the last few months I have conducted camps for the government of Rajasthan under a national program where we educated and treated patients in a mobile dental van. I delivered health talks for children and educated them about good oral and systemic health. After all the work I have done for the people and being associated with many NGOs I believe that the changing nature of HIV epidemiology and the public response towards HIV/AIDS requires more research and help at a larger level. This will help improve service for HIV infected patients in countries with low economy. It was during my search for education and job related to HIV that I came to know about your institute and found that this is the place where I can create a greater impact through my work. I feel confident that with my work experience with epidemiology and working on mass management you will find some help in your purpose.
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