The Odisha AIDS Control Society has launched a programme to sensitize adolescent students in schools on HIV, AIDS and sexual transmission diseases, an official said Monday. The adolescent education programme was launched in Ganjam district, having the highest number of HIV positive persons in the state.
The children will be made aware of the cause of the spread of STDs by the teachers in the district, AIDS control programme officer in Ganjam, Hemant Sahu, said here.
As many as 60 teachers – half of them women – of 30 high schools in at least 14 out of the 22 blocks, have been sensitized on the cause of HIV and how to prevent them, Mr Sahu said.
The programme has been launched in collaboration with the school and mass education department. Teachers from highly vulnerable blocks have been selected for training, he said adding that those teachers would create awareness among students, especially those studying in classes IX and X, at least once a week.
“If the school students know about the cause and means of spread of the disease, they will educate their family members and others about it,” said Sadananda Mishra, Chief District Medical Officer of Ganjam. In Odisha, HIV positive cases are highest in Ganjam.
As many as 15,467 persons have been tested HIV positive in the district till November, 2018 and most of the affected people are migrant workers, officials said.
However, the number of HIV positive cases in the district has been declining. Mr Sahu said, while 849 persons had tested HIV positive in 2015, the number came down to 810 and 659 in 2016 and 2017 respectively.