'Effective control of HIV, AIDS need proper understanding of its Act'
A one-day media sensitization programme on HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act 2017 held at Manipur Press Club on Monday.
Updated on 27 Dec 2021, 4:51 pm
(Representational Image: Pixabay)
HIV positivity rate in Manipur has been reduced to some extent but there is a need to heighten the awareness level about HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act 2017 in the society, deputy director, IEC and Mainstreaming, Manipur State AIDS Control Society (MACS), Dr Hemlata Thokchom said.
She stated this during a one-day media sensitization programme on HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act 2017 held at Manipur Press Club on Monday. The programme was organised by Khelen Thokchom Trust, Manipur under the sponsorship of Manipur State AIDS Control Society.
Hemlata said that HIV prevalence rate in the state among the antenatal clinic attendees that hit 2.7 per cent in 1999 has now declined to 0.51 per cent and adult population that reached 3.1 per cent in 1999 has now come down to 1.18 per cent. MACS can achieve this successfully by implementing various programmes taken under the National AIDS Control Organisation with the support of various stakeholders, she said.
She further said that HIV prevalence among the adult in the state is, however, far above the national average of 0.22 per cent. As such, more effort and collective responsibility from various sections of society of the state is required as HIV/AIDS is a public health issue.
Hemlata said that with an objective to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS, the State AIDS Policy was adopted by the state government on October 3, 1996 and Manipur became the first state in India to have a state AIDS policy. This was revised in 2015 and got published in the gazette of Manipur on February 3, 2021.
Stigma and discrimination against HIV infected person is one such barrier that hampers HIV treatment. Knowing the Act properly by every individual would help to reduce such cases as it is illegal according to this Act, she said and informed that additional director, health department, Dr Khoirom Sasheekumar Mangang was appointed as ombudsman in November to tackle the complaints.
Presenting his key note address, Editor of Imphal Times, Rinku Khumukcham said that the programme is being held as an objective to create awareness about the said Act amongst media fraternity and could produce ethical media report on HIV and AIDS-related issues.
He also said that despite facing so many challenges, the trustee is putting all possible effort to accomplish the dream of late Khelen Thokchom. The trustee has been sponsoring media fellowship with particular theme every year since the past four years with an aim to producing good journalists in the state.
During the workshop, advocate, High Court of Manipur, K Rabei spoke on the topic “HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act 2017 and its legal aspects”, president, Community Network for Empowerment, RK Nalinikanta spoke on “HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act 2017 and NGO’s positive role” and editor-in-chief, TOM TV, A Mobi spoke on “Media’s role in prevention and control of HIV and AIDS”.