Dharamsala: A one-day sensitization workshop on HIV AIDS was held here at the Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation workshop campus, which was attended by over 60 drivers, conductors, mechanics and ministerial staff of the department. The workshop was presided over by AN Salaria, RM, Dharamsala. Speaking on the occasion, he stated that there was an immediate need to educate transport staff regarding AIDS and the ways to fight it.
Dr AK Gupta from Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, discussed the A (Abstinence), B (be faithful to partner), and C (Correct and consistent use of Condoms) of HIV and how it can be prevented. “Sex is a biological phenomenon and we need not keep it a taboo, while keeping the discussion culturally sensitive and not vulgar, we can talk about protecting ourselves, Dr Gupta said. He further stated that with the advent of effective ART, PLHIV can live longer and healthier lives; but the benefit of ART needs to be availed by knowing about the HIV status.
Dr RK Sood DAPO Kangra dispelled the myths and misconceptions related to condoms in free supply. He further discussed the issue of stigma and discrimination and addressed the fears of participants to shake hands, sit next to PLHIV, share food and drinks, and de-sensitised their fears through role play. Dr AK Gupta also discussed the issue of blood scarcity, importance of voluntary blood donation in blood safely and HIV prevention and addressed the fears and misconceptions of weakness related to blood donation
Earlier, a sensitisation programme on HIV/AIDS was also held for tourist guides at the Club House in McLeodganj.