Chennai: With an increase in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among youngsters, Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society has planned to launch its awareness campaign at a new level through social media. After the popular social media pages, it is now the mobile application which is about to make its presence to target youngsters and create awareness among them. A smartphone application called “Iyyam Thavir” is being designed by Tansacs to help connect with people. As per Tansacs officials, the new app will not only provide information about the disease and educate people but will also help them register for counselling in the desired location.
“The increased prevalence has increased among youngsters and considering that social media was thought to be the ideal medium to connect with them and provide easy accessibility to the counselling centres. The mobile application can be used to select the nearest ART centres and counselling centres can be chosen as per convenience. The data and information will be kept confidential,” said the project director, Dr Senthil Raj.
As a lot of people affected with HIV, hesitate to screen at the nearby centres and thus remain, undiagnosed, ‘Iyyam Thavir’, the mobile application can give them expert advice and help them choose the preferred centre, he said. The mobile application named “IT” was launched, but was taken down due to network issues. However, the new application is all set to be launched and will help to connect easily with the youngsters especially.
Awareness campaigns by Tansacs turn popular on social media
The memes created and shared by Tansacs on social media are already popular and the ‘90-90-90’ strategy adopted by the National Aids Control Organisation is planned to be propagated using social media by Tansacs. The ‘90-90-90’ strategy aims to ensure that 90 percent of persons living with HIV (PLWH) worldwide should know their HIV status, 90 percent of diagnosed PLWH should be on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and 90 percent of PLWH on ART should be virally suppressed by the year 2020.
“We undertake counselling of more than 4 lakh HIV affected people and the toll-free helpline (1800-419-1800) is also revamped. To bring in more people, we are creating awareness using memes on the launched the social media through Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook since last one month. This is not proving to be an easy and user-friendly method, but is also economical,” said a senior Tansacs official. Tansacs has more than 1,600 followers on Facebook, and more than 50 on Twitter and Instagram. The authorities hope to reach out to more people using the mobile application.