KOCHI: In a message marking World AIDS Day on Monday, healthcare professionals and social service organisations stressed the need to end discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.
Addressing a programme jointly organised by the health department, Ernakulam district panchayat, Kerala State AIDS Control Society, IMA and Aluva municipality, the district panchayat president Adv. Eldhose Kunnappally sought active participation of youngsters in reducing the prevalence of the disease.
District medical officer Dr. Hazeena Muhammad, municipal chairman M.T Jacob and officials from the health department also attended.
The Department of Community Medicine at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences conducted awareness programme for migrant labourers at Kakkanad.
Dr. Aswathi took classes on the disease, its symptoms and risks. Medical students performed a street play and mime show as part of the event.
Thrikkakkara municipal chairman Shaji Vazhakkala, health committee chairman V.D Suresh, AIMS community medicine department head Dr. Leela K Moni and other officials participated.
Meanwhile, with the considerable decrease in prevalence rate, there has been a significant change in the strategies in AIDS control activities.
The recently launched Phase IV of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) focuses on high risk groups rather than conducting extensive awareness programmes.
“Due to intensive surveillance, new cases can be identified easily. The current focus of AIDS control activities is on high risk groups including commercial sex workers and drug addicts,” said Dr. K.V Beena, district project director of National Health Mission.
NACP IV aims at bringing the number of HIV infected persons to very low levels by 2020. In Ernakulam district, the total number of HIV cases has come down from 116 cases in 2012 to 101 in 2013. In 2013, the number of men with HIV in the district was 83 while it was 78 in 2012 and 101 in 2011....