Staff Reporter

Two Non-Governmental Organisations cover 150 villages in nine mandals of the district

  • HIV prevalent in the 15-24 years age group
  • Girls are targets at jataras and community festivals

    Sangareddy: Contrary to its image as a relatively AIDS-free society a situation analysis study made by two NGOs in 150 villages in nine mandals of the district revealed prevalence of HIV in the age group of 15-24 years.

    Details of the study made by the Young People's Initiative project implemented in Guntur, Medak and Hyderabad district and sponsored by Unicef, Andhra Pradesh State AIDS Control Society and Lepra Society were released here on Saturday at the consultative committee meeting.

    Disturbing behaviour

    The study that used the personal interview and questionnaire methods found out that there was hidden propensity to extra and pre-marital sex due to lack of awareness about one's own body.

    It also revealed that many young men even had sex with animals and repeated counselling by the volunteers could change the disturbing behaviour.

    Y. Sivaramakrishna, Project Director of Samskar, one of the two NGOs, explained that incest by father, rape by close relatives, lack of knowledge about puberty and physical changes it brings about, family violence were some of reasons for behavioural changes in the targeted age group.

    The study pointed out that girls were target in heavily crowded Jataras and other community-based festivals.

    The study sums up that HIV need not be transmitted through sex workers but through some one close to the family.

    Target

    Addressing laboratory technicians and counsellors from 22 mandals of the district who attended the meeting K.H.S.S. Sundar, executive director (Programmes) of Samskar, announced that the YPI project would reach out to 5.8 lakh young men and women in the district by the end of 2007.

    YPI was currently working through Sanghamitra in Chegunta and Toopran mandals and through Samskar in Andole and Sangareddy mandals.

    D. Ravinder, project director Sanghamitra, said that ten peer educators were selected from each village and trained, who in turn educate the young people of that village.