All should join hands to fight HIV/AIDS, said the Nilgiris Collector Archana Patnaik while inaugurating a workshop organized by the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS) here on Saturday to highlight the role of the media in checking the spread of the malady.

Positive role

Urging all sections of the society to play a positive role in dealing with the menace, she said that since the first case was reported about a quarter of a century ago not only the government but the civil society and non government officials have been playing a proactive role in battling the problem.

The prevalence of the disease in the Nilgiris district was 0.25 percent.

Explaining the objectives of the workshop that had been organised, Daniel of TANSACS said that the disease should no longer be seen as a mere medical problem but as a social issue.

Effective steps should be taken in order to tackle the menace.

Lamenting that lack of awareness was a major problem, he said that that the people should be made aware of the services that were now available to prevent the disease from spreading to others and making matters worse.

Stigma

The stigma attached to the disease and the consequent isolation was a major source of concern.

Through Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) centres it can be kept under control.

The Nodal Officer, ART Centre, the Nilgiris, Chidambaranathan, the Deputy Director, Health Services (TB) P.J.Vasanthan and the District Programme Manager, District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit (DAPCU) Venkatesh also spoke.

The Information and Public Relations Officer, Shankara Vadivelu, welcomed the gathering.

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