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KNOW AIDS FOR NO AIDS

Subhrajit Bhattacharjee

As NACO says , India’s AIDS Control Programme is globally acclaimed as a success story. The National Aids Control Programme, launched in 1992, is being implemented as a comprehensive programme for prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in India. Over time, the focus has shifted from raising awareness to behavior change, from a national response to a more decentralized response and to increasing involvement of NGOs and networks of PLHIV.

In 1992, the Government launched the first National AIDS Control Programme (NACPI) with an IDA Credit of USD84 million and demonstrated its commitment to combat the disease. NACP I was implemented with an objective of slowing down the spread of HIV infections so as to reduce morbidity, mortality and impact of AIDS in the country. National AIDS Control Board (NACB) was constituted and an autonomous National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) was set up to implement the project. The first phase focused on awareness generation, setting up surveillance system for monitoring HIV epidemic, measures to ensure access to safe blood and preventive services for high risk group populations.

With various sections and divisons, nationally, IEC is playing one of the most vital role in combatting the virus and then the disease.Proper care,support and treatment of AIDS patients mainly depend on the role of IEC in all the States of the Country.The same goes for our State,also.                                            

Information, Education & Communication

Communication is the key to generating awareness on prevention as well as motivating access to treatment, care and support. With the launch of NACP IV, the impetus is on standardising the lessons learned during the third phase. Communication in NACP IV is directed:

  • To increase knowledge among general population (especially youth and women) on safe sexual behaviour
  • To sustain behaviour change in at risk populations (high risk groups and bridge populations)
  • To generate demand for care, support and treatment services
  • To strengthen the enabling environment by facilitating appropriate changes in societal norms that reinforces positive attitudes, beliefs and practices to reduce stigma and discrimination.

Key Activities

Mass Media Campaigns: An annual media calendar was prepared to strategize, streamline and synergise mass media campaigns with other outreach activities and mid-media activities. NACO released campaigns on voluntary blood donation, condom promotion, sexually transmitted infections, stigma and discrimination amongst healthcare providers and PPTCT on Doordarshan, cable and satellite channels, All India Radio and FM radio networks. To amplify the reach of mass-media campaigns innovative technologies were also utilised like dissemination of advertisements through movie theatres.

Long Format Programmes

The State IEC teams conducted various long format programmes like phone-ins and panel discussions on HIV related issues through regional networks of All India Radio and Doordarshan. These programmes reached out to a large audience.And the same is on.

Advertisement through Newspapers

Newspapers have good recall value on the day of event, and also reach out to a larger number of readers. Both NACO and SACS release advertisements in newspapers to disseminate information and create awareness.These activities are still on.

Outdoors

Outdoor activities like hoardings, bus panels, pole kiosks, information panels, and panels in railways and Metro trains were implemented by the State AIDS Control Societies, condom social marketing organisations of NACO and under link worker’s scheme to disseminate information on HIV prevention and related services. NACO has developed a well-coordinated plan involving different agencies to avoid duplication of activities.Our State has this component too in it’s own form.

MID MEDIA

Folk Media and IEC Vans

Folk media engages audiences using their own cultural contexts. Previous years have witnessed carefully thought-out national folk media campaign planning including script-writing workshops to ensure synergy between key messages and elements of folklore into the performances. A mix and match of seven thematic areas and the popular folk forms was used for the roll-out. The messages were vetted by the technical experts in NACO for accuracy, effectiveness and consistency.

Folk media also used efficiently to piggyback on events organised in States during major festivals like Navratra, Durga Puja, Ganesh Chaturthi, Pongal, State specific big fairs and important cultural occasions reached out to readily available large gatherings in urban and semi urban areas.Our state has experienced this event for the last few years.And this year too this component would be in place.

 

YOUTH Adolesence Education Programme 
This programme runs in secondary and senior secondary schools to build-up life skills of adolescents to cope with the physical and psychological changes associated with growing up. Under the programme, sixteen hour sessions are scheduled during the academic terms of classes IX and XI. SACS have further adapted the modules after State consultations with stakeholders, such as NGOs, academicians, psychologists and parent-teacher bodies. This programme is being implemented in 31States and till date more than 50,000 Schools have been covered.


The purpose of Red Ribbon Club formation in colleges is to encourage peer-to-peer messaging on HIV prevention and to provide a safe space for young people to seek clarifications of their doubts and on myths surrounding HIV/AIDS. The RRCs also promote voluntary blood donation among youth. About 14,000 clubs are functional and are being supported for these activities; which includes 459 RRCs started in 2014-15.Our State also has RRCs in almost all the Government Degree Colleges.

 

A brief data is given below to broadline issues related to our State.

 

District wise segregation of PLHIV (Alive and On ART) upto October, 2018

District

West

North

Khowai

Gomati

South

Unakoti

Dhalai

Sepahijala

Other State

Total

296

349

128

101

51

138

141

102

07

 

Number of PLHIV alive and on ART (Upto October, 2018)

Male

Female

TS/TG

Children

Total

Male

Female

735

513

0

33

32

1313

 

Number of PLHIV registered in HIV Care till October, 2018  

Male

Female

TS/TG

Children

Total

Male

Female

1205

740

0

45

45

2035

 

Cumulative Number of PLHIV who died since the beginning till the end of the month (Upto October, 2018)

Male

Female

TS/TG

Children

Total

Male

Female

262

91

0

6

6

365

 

Details of Injecting Drug Users in Tripura and IDU positives in Tripura

District Name

TI/Non-TI NGO Name

Registered IDUs

HIV Positives found

North

  1. Socio-economic Welfare Society
  2. Link Worker

530

84 +3 = 87

Dhalai

ST. Vincent Welfare Society

270

2

Total

800

89

 

It is time to be more aware on HIV AIDS.

The main ‘slogan’ now is Minstreaming. As NACO says, Mainstreaming and Partnership- Strategic Approach HIV/AIDS is not a mere health issue as its occurrence is influenced by a number of socio-economic elements. Health interventions alone, therefore, cannot lead to prevention. HIV prevention requires a concerted collaborative effort from all departments, institutions or organizations in public life through their work and programmes. The operational definition of mainstreaming used by NACO is the “Integrated, inclusive and multi-sectoral approach which transfers the ownership of HIV/AIDS issues – including its direct and indirect causes, impact and response to various stakeholders, including the government, the corporate sector and civil society organizations”. The focus of all organizations in mainstreaming is to adapt their core business to respond to the challenges of HIV/AIDS. Mainstreaming approaches to HIV have increasingly gained ground with the realization that the non-health sector can play an important and meaningful role in reducing vulnerability to HIV and mitigating its impact on those infected and affected. Though HIV is preventable, currently there is no cure for it. It can be best described as “a manageable condition”. In this scenario, mainstreaming and partnership for risk reduction, social protection, access to service and stigma reduction, become key policy tools to help communities become resilient and cope better.

 



 
 
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