Palampur (Dec 29): “Youth are playing a lead role in dispelling myths related to HIV.” this was stated by Dr Ram Lal, nodal officer for a NSS camp held by College of Basic Science, CSKHPKV, at village Sidhpur Sarkari, 5 km from Palampur. He added that any healthy person between the age of 18-60 and with weight over 45 km can donate blood up to four times a year. He shared that blood donors have less risk of heart disease.
Dr RK Sood, district AIDS programme officer, interacted with the youth and discussed about the ICTC facilities of free confidential and reliable HIV counseling and testing. HP SACS is striving towards increasing access to young people of life-skills education, HIV testing, through peer led prevention programmes.
Most people who are HIV infected don’t know their status till they develop AIDS. A HIV positive person can be clinically healthy and the only way to know one’s status is through a blood test, akin to early detection of heart disease by ECG. He further stated that under the National AIDS Control Programme, in the Integrated Counseling and Testing Centres free and confidential HIV testing services are available. Patients can walk in to the centre without any OPD slip and avail the free facilities. The youth are motivating peers to know their status. If negative, stay negative and if positive, avail facilities of ART and lead a productive life.
The youth adorned by red ribbons, carried placards and participated in a rally to raise awareness on ICTC facilities. The rally concluded in a red ribbon human formation. Over 24 youths of NSS participated in the ‘Know your Status’ camps organised by ICTC Kangra and availed the benefit of free and confidential HIV test.
Towards universal access of services
ICTC Facility is available in Ayurvedic Hospital Paprola, CH Palampur, Kangra, Dehra, Nurpur, CHC Jwalamukhi, ZH Dahramshala and Medical college Kangra at Tanda under the National AIDS Control Programme. In addition facility of ICTC is available at Panchrukhi, Nagrota Bagwan, Chamuda, Gangath and Jwali hospital under NRHM.