Special folk arts programmes would be held in the villages for about 50 days in various villages in the district to create awareness of HIV/AIDS among the rural masses.

The awareness programmes are organised jointly by Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society and the office of District AIDS Prevention and Control. P. Senthilkumar, Collector, inaugurated the folk arts performance at a function held on the bus stand premises on Wednesday. He said that both the organisations are involved in implementing various programmes to check the spread of AIDS. The cultural programmes aimed at taking the basic message on AIDS to the rural people.

Mr. Senthilkumar said that free HIV screening is done at the government headquarters hospital in Ariyalur town, at primary health centres at Jayamkondam, Udaiyarpalaiyam, Tirumanur, Kumizhiam, Andimadam, Meensurutti and T. Pazhur, and at Fatima Hospital, Jayamkondam.

Free antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment is provided to the HIV affected patients at Jayamkondam government hospital and free treatment for sexually transmitted diseases at Sugavazhvu Maiyam. The government is using the services of Red Ribbon Clubs, women SHGs, and voluntary organisations to prevent maligning and sidelining the AIDS affected people.

Specially trained teams performed oyilattam, karagattam, kummi, bommalattam and street plays. District coordinator of District AIDS Prevention and Control unit Arulkumar was present.