Media workshop on HIV/AIDS Act 2017 conducted in Ukhrul

Ukhrul: Khelen Thokchom Trust (KTT), Manipur conducted a one day media workshop on the newly adopted HIV and AIDS (Prevention & Control) Act 2017 supported by Manipur State AIDS Control Society (MACS) at Shalom Lodge, Wino Bazaar, Ukhrul on Saturday.

Dr Yuithingla Vashum, District AIDS Control officer, Ukhrul/Kamjong District; Phanjoubam Lanngamba, Asst. Director IEC & Mainstreaming, MACS; Irengbam Arun Advisor KTT; Omarjit Leishangthem, IEC & Mainstream, MACS, Ksh Deepak, State TI Coordinator, MACS presided the workshop.

Senior journalist and various media persons from Ukhrul District, Khelen Thokchom Trust officials and others attended the workshop.

The sole intent of the workshop was to equip the journalists while disseminating information to the public on the nuances of reporting issues related to HIV/AIDS especially on the newly enacted HIV/AIDS (Prevention & Control) Act 2017.

Advisor of Khelen Thokchom Trust, Irengbam Arun, also the editor of Imphal Free Press and Dr Yuithingla Vashum, AIDS control Officer, Ukhrul/Kamjong attended as presidium members at the workshop.

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Basics of HIV & AIDS was covered by Ksh Deepak, State TI Coordinator, MACS. He mentioned that it has been almost two decades Manipur has been combating HIV & AIDS. It was first detected in February 1990. Manipur State AIDS Control Program under National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) is at its fifth phase–Phase I: awareness generation, phase II: testing or screening, Phase III: free Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) roll out and more, phase IV: giving care support treatment, scaling up the public health and Phase V is the current phase. It started from 2022 to 2026.

Ksh Deepak also mentioned that HIV/AIDS is to be eliminated by 2030, globally. He informed the that ARV medication is not only a treatment for HIV/AIDS but it also give viral load suppression to the one taking treatment which can help them lead a healthy lifestyle and also chances of transmission is relatively low.

Omarjit Laishram shared about the prevention and control of HIV & AIDS. He also briefed about the various legal provisions under the newly-adopted HIV/AIDS (Prevention & Control) Act 2017. The adult perseverance in Ukhrul is 1.705, in Age group is from 18-49 years. As per the Act, people living with HIV/AIDS are protected and they should not be discriminated on the basis of their HIV status, he added.

Phanjoubam Lanngamba talked about Media ethic on HIV/AIDS related reporting. He explained on how to remain objective, sensitive and factual while reporting HIV/AIDS cases; against disclosure of identity of a HIV/AIDS patient.

The day long media workshop was moderated by Jimmy Leivon, resident editor, Imphal Free Press and ended with discussion program and lunch.

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