Awareness a better tool to combat HIV/AIDS: Mein

ITANAGAR, Nov 11: Stating that awareness is a better tool to combat HIV/AIDS, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein called upon the youths to educate the public about HIV/AIDS.
“The youths can play a crucial role in raising public awareness about HIV/AIDS, its causes, mode of transmission and preventive measures,” Mein said while addressing the grand finale of multimedia campaign (MMC) ‘Red Rockfest’ at Dree ground near here on Sunday.
Stating that injecting drugs use (IDU) has emerged as the major mode of HIV transmission, Mein emphasized the need to maintain strict vigil at all transit points to check drug smuggling.
“A foolproof mechanism is needed to check the scourge of drugs, including illicit opium cultivation,” he said.
Mein said the state government would extend all support to the health department in carrying out such awareness programmes.
Speaking about the MMC, Health Minister Alo Libang said: “This is our endeavour to reach out to the masses and motivate HIV testing among people, and treatment of people living with HIV.
“Such awareness campaigning would also help clear the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and encourage people to come forward for HIV testing,” he said, and added that timely detection and proper treatment can prolong the life of the people living with HIV.
Health Services Director Dr M Lego said HIV is a syndrome and anybody can come in contact with it if they are not aware about HIV, its causes, mode of transmission and protective measures.
Arunachal Pradesh State Aids Control Society (APSACS) Project Director Dr Riken Rina informed that the MMC, themed ‘Yes to life! A musical journey against HIV/AIDS’, was launched at Yingkiong on 14 September by the health & family welfare minister.
He said the winner of Red Rockfest would become the MMC brand ambassador of the APSACS for the next one year and represent the state at the regional level rock concert competition to be held in Kohima, Nagaland, in February 2019, where all the winners from the eight northeastern states will compete with each other for the champion’s title.
Earlier, Mein along with Libang gave away the cash prize of Rs 50,000 to the winner, ‘The Megh’. The first runner-up, ‘AR01’, and second runner-up, ‘The Demon’, were given Rs 30,000 and Rs 20,000, respectively. The band ‘Heatstroke’ was given the consolation prize of Rs 10,000.
Red Rockfest was organized by the APSACS with the support of the National AIDS Control Organisation.