State-level exposition on AIDS held in Manipur

IMPHAL, Sept 14 – Appealing to the people not to hide if they suspect that they are HIV positive, the Project Director (Technical), Manipur AIDS Control Society (MACS) Dr Kh Pramodkumar said that they can get tested and take advantage of free anti-retroviral therapy (ART) from any centre, if found positive.

He was speaking as the chief guest in the second State-level Exposition 2009 titled ‘Access to Care & Treatment (ACT) Round 4 Global Fund Project under the theme ‘Promoting Economic Empowerment’ here recently which was organised by Population Foundation of India (PFI), Manipur in consultation with Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Manipur (NPM).

The objective of the exposition is to address the need of economic empowerment among people living with HIV (PLHIV) with at least ten PLHIV from each service delivery points (SDPs) of the State participating in the event.

The other objectives of the exposition are to provide a platform to PLHIV through which they can share their experiences, exhibit their talents and capacity of performing activities, be capacitated on the concept of positive living, be educated on various income generation avenues, enhance and develop networking & referral linkages and sensitise government machinery and pressure groups about the PLHIV issues.

The three day exposition will include activities like capacity building session on government schemes and facilities; exhibition of income generation activities/products/stalls to market their products; competition among different DLNs (for best positive speaker, best self help group, etc.); competition among PLHIV groups for recreational activities like songs, role-plays, painting, quiz & other indoor games of indigenous type; IEC display of HIV prevention, treatment, education, care & support, legal issues of PLHA, various governmental welfare schemes and programmes; interaction between PLHIV and renowned personalities, medical fraternity, government officials, media, entrepreneurs, etc.; cultural activities like tribal dance and Manipuri dance; screening of documentary films on HIV/AIDS and prize distribution of the competitions.

The president of NPM informed the participants of the exposition that the Supreme Court of India has directed to give work under the NREGS to HIV positive people. He also appealed to the MLAs, State Health department and the government to sanction an amount of Rs 60 lakh for people living with HIV/AIDS.