HIV-infected Gopal Shrestha successfully climbs Mt Everest « Khabarhub
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HIV-infected Gopal Shrestha successfully climbs Mt Everest



KATHMANDU: HIV-infected Gopal Shrestha, 56, has successfully ascended Mt Everest this morning. Gyanendra Shrestha, a liaison officer for the Everest expedition,  at the base camp, confirmed his ascent of the world’s highest peak.

He has climbed Mt Everest with the aim of spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS, and  setting a record to be the first Nepali man living with the disease to conquer the top of the world.

Shrestha, who hails from Pokhara-7, has climbed Mt Everest with the help of  Guinness Record-holder mountaineer Phurba Tenjing Sherpa, also the managing director of Dreamer Destination Treks and Expedition, who is leading the team.

“I want to conquer the world’s highest peak with the determination that people living with HIV, too, are physically and mentally strong enough for any difficult tasks,” Shrestha  told Khabarhub prior to climbing Mt Everest.

He has climbed Mt Everest with the aim of spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS, and  setting a record to be the first Nepali man living with the disease to conquer the top of the world.

Shrestha, who contracted the disease through syringe injection some 25 years ago, said he lost all his hopes when the doctor told him that he would survive only for a couple of months.

“Look at me, I am still active and kicking after 25 years,” he quipped.

This is Shrestha’s second attempt.  His long-cherished dream to conquer Mt Everest is now fulfilled. Earlier in 2015, he made a failed attempt due to an avalanche triggered by the devastating earthquake. He was injured then.

Shrestha has successfully climbed Thorong La Pass (5, 417 m) in 2013, Island Peak (6,189 m) in 2014, and Virgin Peak /Khang Karpo (6, 646 m) in 2016.

Shrestha, who is one among the 31,020 HIV-infected people in the country, said though he took a ‘bold step forward’ to expose himself as HIV-infected, he could not change the people’s mindset and behavior. “People still hesitate to come close to the HIV-infected people.”

He said he wanted to convey a clear and loud message that people living with HIV/AIDS are never physically weak. “It’s the determination and will-power all we need,” he told Khabarhub.

 

Publish Date : 22 May 2019 08:14 AM

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