TAMIL NADU

Coordinate with Health Department

Special Correspondent

THANJAVUR: Collector M. Veera Shanmugha Moni has appealed to officials of all departments to create an awareness of AIDS among people to prevent it from spreading.

He inaugurated a workshop on AIDS prevention here on Monday. He said he was pained to see that most of the AIDS patients in the district were young widows. Lack of awareness was the main cause for such gloom in the lives of many people, he said. In Tamil Nadu the AIDS control programme has been planned both at the state and district levels. Officials and staff of all departments should co-ordinate with the Health Department to put an end to AIDS, the Collector said.

The workshop was jointly organised by the Tamil Nadu AIDS Control Society, District AIDS Control Society and Synovate, a voluntary organisation.

NACP III

Xavier of Synovate, in a presentation, said Tamil Nadu was the only State in the country to take the initiative to develop a district-specific plan to control AIDS. Emphasis is on decentralised planning in phase three of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP). There is a shift from project mode to programme mode in the third phase of the programme. The objective of NACP III is to prevent new infection and monitor and evaluate besides strengthening the infrastructure at the district, state and national levels.

Increase in number

He also said that though Thanjavur is a low prevalence district, there was a steady increase in the number of reported cases of HIV, STI infection and the number of blood samples that have tested HIV positive.

People are aware of AIDS. However, specific information about how it spreads and ways to prevent are areas that need to be worked upon.

Myths and misconceptions about the cure and treatment of the disease still prevail in the district.

P. Kannan, Deputy Director, Health Department, welcomed the gathering. Swaminathan and Murugesan of the Health Department and officials and staff from various government departments participated in the workshop.

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