NAHARLAGUN: ( By Pradeep Kumar )- The role of younger generations of Arunachal Pradesh is pivotal though of late they have started realizing ‘what is what in life’ that has helped the state to have distinction as 2nd lowest (0.06 per cent) prevalence with 456 positive HIV cases, second to Sikkim (0.05 per cent) in India, said health director Dr M Lego.
Addressing participants of World AIDS Day celebration, particularly students of Global Academy and staff of health department and Arunachal Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (APSACS) here on Tuesday, he said that a rubber stretchable to a limit would be rigid and not expand if stretched beyond limit.
Pointing out that this is the status of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) across the world today without any cure for the disease, he quoted this year’s theme of celebration ‘Global solidarity, shared responsibility’ and exhorted one and all to rise above stigma not to discriminate anyone infected by HIV of AIDS.
Even people with AIDS could live with dignity if few villains in the society shake off their whimsical attitude towards AIDS, he said.
He lauded the winners of short film contest, saying though only three films were selected as 1st, 2nd and 3rd winners to receive cash award of Rs 30,000, Rs 20,000 and 10,000 respectively along with citation and trophy each. However, all those involved in making these films based on AIDS theme reflected their creativity, skill and wisdom are winners, he said to the applause of the gathering before Dr Lego along with APSACS project director Dr Riken Rina gave away the awards.
Dr Rina along with deputy director (BSD) earlier highlighted district-wise positive HIV cases, saying Papum Pare topped the list with 284 while Upper Subansiri and Dibang Valley were at the bottom with only one each. The districts in descending order were Lohit (49), East Siang (28), West Siang (21), Changlang (19), West Kameng (15), Namsai (13), Lower Subansiri (8), East Kameng (5), Tawang (4), Lower Dibang Valley & Tirap (3 each), Upper Siang (2), taking the total to 456. Appreciably, no case was reported from Kurung Kumey and Anjaw district, they informed.
However, class-X students Pema Eton and Sonam Norbu of Global Academy, a higher secondary school, after attending the event with their friends, responding to questions, said that though they knew about HIV and AIDS earlier, but thought provoking addresses were very educative which would widen their knowledge base about the disease, what to do and what not and help in educating others.
However, “we should not hesitate to talk openly about it and speak up and act when someone behave in ways amounting to stigmatizing. Raise awareness on how hurting it could be besides explaining prevention strategies and that medical help is always available for any one infected”, they said reflecting their sense of awareness.