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Posted at: Dec 3, 2019, 7:53 AM; last updated: Dec 3, 2019, 12:10 PM (IST)

Students paint thoughts to empathise with HIV patients

Students paint thoughts to empathise with HIV patients
Participants of a painting competition at Govt PG College, Dharamsala. photo: Kamaljeet

Ashok Raina

Kangra, December 1

A poster-making competition has been organised at Sharan College of Education by the Health Department to observe World AIDS Day. Students from 40 colleges and technical institutes participated in the district-level event.

Gurdharshan Gupta, Chief Medical Officer, Kangra, said December 1 was celebrated as World AIDS Day by health agencies and institutions throughout the globe to raise awareness regarding the dreaded disease and support the HIV-positive people.

He said this year the theme was ‘Communities make the difference’. In India, the first case of AIDS was detected among commercial sex workers in Chennai in 1986, Gupta informed the attendees.

He said at present 4,472 HIV-positive cases were reported in Himachal Pradesh, with the highest number of 1,243 cases prevalent in Kangra district, followed by Hamirpur district with 920 cases. He said Mandi accounted for 560 HIV-positive cases, followed by Una and Bilaspur with 502 and 386 cases, respectively.

A workshop on life skills was also organised by the Red Ribbon Club on Monday, wherein the youth expressed empathy towards the HIV-positive people through paintings and posters. They made a human chain in the shape of a ribbon to show their commitment towards prevention of the disease.

In the poster-making competition, Priya Prakash of Netaji Subhash College of Nursing, Palampur, bagged the first prize, while Sandeep of Government Industrial Training Institute, Nurpur, stood second. Neha of Sharan College of Education won the third prize.

Gupta said the youth between 15 and 29 years of age accounted for 31 per cent of the AIDS cases prevalent in the country.

RK Sood, District AIDS Programme Officer, Kangra, said equipping youth with knowledge and life skills helped prevent spread of HIV.

Ajay Parashar, Deputy Director, IPR, Ashok Kumar from Vivekananda Kendra, and Vikram Katoch, District Health Officer, also addressed the participants.

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