Awareness on HIV/Aids prevention stressed

Awareness on HIV/Aids prevention stressed

Students take out an awareness rally to create awareness on HIV/Aids at Brahmavar on Saturday.

Udupi Zilla panchayat vice president Sheela Shetty said awareness programmes were need of the hour to prevent youth from becoming victims of HIV/Aids virus.

“The youth should be advised about the preventive and precautionary measures that need to be adopted to realise a HIV-free society,” Sheela Shetty said after inaugurating the World Aids Day organised at SMS Pre University College in Brahmavar on Saturday.

She said: ”Unlike other diseases, HIV is invited by humans themselves.”

Udupi District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Rohini said that the district has large number of people infected with the virus. Efforts are on to create awareness among victims. About 90% of the victims are under Antiretroviral Therapy. Three out of four victims know about their status. The victims need quality treatment,” she said.

HIV testing is essential for expanding treatment and ensuring that all victims lead normal life. There are barriers for medical examination such as stigma and discrimination,she said. 

“Access to confidential HIV testing is still an issue of concern. Many people undergo tests after becoming ill,” Dr Rohini said.

Self-testing, community-based testing and multi disease testing are all helping people to know their HIV status, she added.

She added there is one blood bank recognised by NACO in the district. 

Dr Latha Nayak, medical officer, Kandlur PHC, Dr Srinath from ART, Shalini, Blood bank staff nurse, Roshini Dias, counselor, ICTS (integrated counselling and testing centres), Kiran Kumar, ART lab technician and Sanjeeva Vandse, social activist were honoured for their services.