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Churachandpur Gears Up For World AIDS Day

LAMKA, Nov 29: With individuals registered in its ART centers across the district crossing over four-thousand, Churachandpur is set to observe the World AIDS Day, advocating universal rights for people living with HIV, in tune with the international theme.

Addressing the media ahead of the December 1 observation, the organizing committee alongside NGOs working on HIV/AIDS, the district AIDS officials, and church leaders at the ‘˜Love in Action‘ conference hall here said, beginning this year the public will take the initiative in the observation. ‘˜It will no longer be an entire government funded affair,’ Joseph Joute, the committee’s secretary said.

Subjected already into fifteen-years history of HIV/AIDS intervention in the district, NGOs working on HIV/AIDS and it allied field have now well exceeds the dozen marks. Of the people registered at the ART centers, about 1300 are dependent on ART, sources in the DAO said while responding to media queries.

A little over twenty-percent of the ART patients could be of Myanmar origin said an independent source, as people from across the international border have often crossed over to the Indian side solely to avail the treatment that was not as openly available in their country.

Officially, HIV/AIDS death toll in the district so far hovers roughly at 600 while unofficial records indicates it was well beyond 900. The government agency’s apprehensions to collect data from privately run NGOs is said to be the reason behind the gap.

The Church here, that has until the second half of the decade considered HIV/AIDS as a bane have witnessed a remarkable shift on their perception of the disease with some of them now even leading the campaign. This marked penetration solely is one of the biggest achievements witnessed in the district on AIDS advocacy.

The Reformed Presbyterian Church (NEI) have now declared the last Sunday of November as AIDS Sunday while the Evangelical Baptist Convention Church will be, beginning this December, joining other Christian organizations across the globe in observing AIDS Sunday on December that is closest to World AIDS Day.

The World AIDS Day observation, this year will be held at YPA Hall, Hiangtam Lamka at 11AM onwards. And notably, Church leaders have now replaced the once dominant social workers and NGO representatives in the list of dignitaries that will address the gathering.

*Reported by S Singlianmang Guite

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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