A special health campaign to create awareness among the rural population of HIV and AIDS is under way under the aegis of the District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit (DAPCU) functioning under the District Health Department.

The campaign is focused on villages, as reports show an increase in the spread of the virus in the rural population. The drive was launched in the district on September 9 at Nadapuram. It will conclude on September 30. A theatre group and a local club too have offered support to the initiative. They will stage special awareness programmes during the rural campaign.

As per the official figure of the Kerala AIDS Control Society, 738 persons in Kozhikode district have contracted HIV. So far, 3,691 from various other North Kerala districts have registered their names with ‘Ushas’— the district-level treatment centre for HIV-infected persons. They mostly include people from Kannur, Wayanad, Malappuram, and Palakkad districts.

District Medical Officer P.K. Mohanan said the awareness campaign conducted by the Health Department in the sector had helped in bringing down the number of HIV infection cases. “The new campaign is aimed at rural people as more cases are now being reported from the rural areas,” he said.

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