Arunachal Pradesh health minister Alo Libang on Tuesday urged the people of the state, especially the youths, to spread more awareness on HIV so as to eradicate the disease and remove the social stigmas attached to it.

Libang, who on the day, gave away the prizes to the winners of the month-long online video contest on the topic ‘Role of Youth in HIV Awareness’ said, “Information, education and communication (IEC) activities on ailments such as HIV are more crucial in a state like Arunachal where most of the people live in rural areas.”

The contest was organized by the Arunachal Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (APSACS).

The minister, however, said: “Awareness activities on HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) should not only be carried out for prizes and awards but as a part of social service.”

“The youths are the future of the nation and they play an important role in nation-building,” he said while appealing all to be more vigilant so as to stay safe from various diseases.

The minister also appreciated the APSACS for carrying out the awareness initiative and using social media to reach out to the people during the pandemic.

Health services director Dr M Lego also highlighted the role of the youths in creating awareness about HIV.

“As there is no definite cure for HIV, knowledge about the virus and its transmission is very important to prevent its spread,” he said.

APSACS project director Dr Riken Rina appreciated the youths for participating in the online campaign in large numbers.

The month-long social media campaign on HIV was organised from August 01 to 31 to mark International Youth Day which falls on August 12 every year.

A Facebook video competition was also organized on the sidelines of the campaign which saw the participation of 19 teams and individuals.

Team Ekta, with 23000 views, 3200 shares, 704 likes and 101 marks from the jury emerged as the winner of the contest and bagged the cash prize of Rs 15000 while Gami Bogo with 23000 views, 1800 shares, 1081 like and 130 jury marks came a close second.

Bogo was awarded a cash prize of Rs 10000 along with certificates.

Team Damsite Friends took the third prize of Rs 5000 and certificates with 1400 views, 5800 shares, 583 likes and 116 marks from the jury.

HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system and if not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

The virus can be transmitted through contact with infected blood, semen or vaginal fluids.

There is currently no effective cure for the virus, but strict adherence to antiretroviral regimens (ARVs) can dramatically slow the disease’s progress as well as prevent secondary infections and complications.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com