HIV/AIDS training modules for law enforcement agency and Faith Based Organisation, a church body, were launched in Kohima on Thursday.
The issue of HIV & AIDS is more about creating awareness, sensitising and stigmatization, Nagaland Chief Secretary Temjen Toy said while speaking at the programme.
The top bureaucrat of Nagaland observed the focus changes with the coming of new challenges. “Earlier the concentration was more on high-risk group or targeted intervention groups like truck drivers, FSWs and police,” Toy said, urging the organisations like Nagaland State Aids Control Society and others actively involved in the issue to focus more on vulnerable groups besides the high-risk groups.
He rued the lack of behavioural and habitual changes despite modernisation and liberalisation which has made everyone aware of HIV & AIDS. He stressed on addressing the issue on college and school-going groups, and sensitize them to bring about behavioural changes in them.
Acknowledging that HIV & AIDS is still a major challenge, the chief secretary expressed happiness over the continuing efforts to combat the menace. He urged the people involved in the issue to choose their focus well and take informed decision.
Expressing happiness on the steps taken by the police department on the issue, Toy hoped with the support of the church and law enforcement agencies the issue can be taken forward in a more effective way.
Exhorting the participants, Nagaland police chief Rupin Sharma said keeping the police force and law enforcing agencies safe from HIV & AIDS is important as the police family constitutes a huge component of the state.
In tackling AIDS, the police have two roles to play, one is to play the role of a consumer of the training module and the other is the role of a facilitator, he underlined.
Lamenting that people suffering from AIDS are still discriminated, the DGP called on the law enforcing agency to protect and keep them safe.
Director, Kripa Foundation, Abou Mere in his opening remark said the programme is aimed at empowering the police and the church workers to collectively respond to HIV/AIDS, and ensure the universal access and protection of human rights besides eliminating stigma and discrimination. He expressed confidence that the training module will help in understanding the AIDS epidemic and develop an appropriate response to tackle the challenges.