APSACS preventing HIV spread: Dr Rina

  • 434 HIV cases in Arunachal, 272 in Papum Pare

 By A O News Service

NAHARLAGUN, Feb 14: The HIV rising at an alarming rate in Arunachal Pradesh due to practice of unsafe sex, but regrettably state police has come under severe criticism for unwise actions against those working to prevent unsafe sex.

This surfaced during interaction programme of a four-day induction training of 40 outreach workers of various NGOs to implement targeted intervention programme, conducted by Arunachal Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (APSACS) at H&FW directorate’s conference hall here on Friday.

Explaining the nitty-gritty of spread of incurable killer disease HIV, National Youth Project (NYP) vice president as resource person urged them to rise above any social taboo about their status as they are no less than saviours of state future. Quoting the HIV statistics highlighted by APSAC mission director Dr Riken Rina earlier, few experienced outreach workers expressed their deep concern about police actions.

“Police personnel while raiding various hotels across the state along with some NGOs take hotel boys to task if condoms are found from their possession and at times they are assaulted.” they claimed, adding  “such police actions has created fear psychosis among us.”

Assuring to take up with senior police officers, Kumar said that there could be few stray cases due to ignorance of lower rank cops as condoms are distributed at probable sex randvow across India for practicing safe sex and prevent HIV as per guidelines of National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) guidelines.

There is nothing to shy about sex being biological need but there should be no compromise with safety to lead a safe, healthy and peaceful life, Kumar added.

While introducing Kumar earlier as a very senior journalist and editor of Arunachal Observer, APSACS assistant director (TI) Dr Marto Ete said that he is experienced as NYP had executed targeted intervention (TI) programme.

In his inaugural address earlier, Dr Rina disclosed that 434 HIV cases were detected in Arunachal Pradesh of total 4, 69,168 tests conducted till 31.12.19 with Papum Pare at the top with 272 cases. The cases in other districts include: Tawang-4, West Kameng-14, East Kameng-5, Lower Subansiri-8, West Siang-19, East Siang-26, Upper Siang-2, Dibang Valley-1, Lower Dibang Valley-3, Lohit-46, Namsai-12, Changlang-19 and Tirap-3.

Though no HIV case was detected in Kurung Kumey, Upper Subansiri and Anjaw districts, but HIV has taken a menacing form which calls for concerted efforts with pragmatic steps involving various sections of the society is need of the time to prevent spread of HIV, he added.

Pointing out that sharing needles, syringes or other drug injection equipment, man having sex with man put users at for getting or transmitting HIV and other infections, Dr Ete said those inject drug are known as injecting drug users (IDUs).

Bridge populations comprise people, who, through close proximity to high risk groups are at the risk of contracting HIV. Quite often they are clients or partners of male and female sex workers and mostly truckers and migrant labourers, he said, adding they are a critical group because of their ‘mobility with HIV’. Their living and working conditions, sexually active age and separation from regular partners for extended periods of time predispose them to paid sex or sex with non-regular partners. Further, inadequate access to treatment for sexually transmitted infections aggravates the risk of contracting and transmitting the virus.

NACO has developed comprehensive operational guidelines on TI for truckers and migrants, he disclosed.

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