A one day media sensitization programme on HIV and AIDS (Prevention & Control) Act 2017 was organised by the Khelen Thokchom Trust (KTT) under the support of the Manipur State AIDS Control Society.
Deputy Director, IEC and Mainstreaming Dr Hemlata Thokchom of the Manipur State AIDS Control Society (MACS) and Thokchom Memcha Devi Founder of KTT were the chief guest and functional president of the formal inaugural function of the sensitization programme.
Addressing the gathering, MACS Deputy Director Dr Hemlata expressed the need of organizing such media sensitization programme as there is need of spreading awareness as the people need to understand more about the HIV and AIDS (Prevention & Control) Act 2017, which has been published in the Manipur government Gazette on January 12, 2021.
She also highlighted various programmes being taken up by the MACS to prevent HIV and AIDS and also discussed the need for cooperation from both the public and NGOs who are working in the field of HIV and AIDS.
Three resource persons Manipur high court Advocate K Rabei, Editor-in-chief of TOM TV Ahongshangbam Mobi and President RK Nalinikanta of the Community Network for Empowerment spoke on various aspect of the new act.In his speech, Advocate Rabei gave highlighted the contents of the Act in fighting the HIV and AIDS as well as in protecting the rights of the protected group of people.
He said that for prevention of the discrimination of those people living the HIV and AIDS, the new Act provides room for complaint by approaching the right forum as the government recently appointed Ombudsman authority at MACS.
On the other hand RK Nalinikanta shared the need to popolarise the new Act like other important Acts so that the rights of the people living with HIV can be protected.
On the other hand Editor-in-chief A Mobi stressed on the need to fully aware of the HIV and AIDS related issues while writing their news in public interest as writing such news is a very complex issue at some point of time. Earlier KTT trustee Rinku Khumukcham gave the welcome and keynote address.
According to reports, Manipur, the first state in the country having its own state AIDS policy, is recorded as one of the states in the country with high number of PLHIV, having a percentage of 0.51 of total population which is above the national average of 0.24 per cent. Currently 13,456 PLHIV are on ART as of September 2021. Out of which, adult male is 6067; adult female is 6102; transgender is 94, male child is 427 and female child is 446.The first HIV positive case in Manipur was reported in February 1990 and became the first state in India to have a state AIDS policy in 1996.