Nagaland: ‘Fight against HIV is not over yet’

Can Youth organizes webinar on HIV/AIDS 

Dimapur, December 3 (MExN): “World AIDS Day should not be observed only in December 1 because fight against HIV is not over yet in our state,” Ketho Angami, President, Access to Rights and Knowledge (ARK) Foundation stated while adding that more efforts should be given to reduce the HIV positive number which is “increasing.”

He was speaking at the webinar session for adolescent organized by Can Youth under its project Development 4 Adolescent on the topic ‘HIV/AIDS’ on the occasion of World AIDS Day in observance of 16-days activism against gender based violence on December 1.

Stating that Nagaland is the second highest prevalence rate in HIV, Ketho shared on how the epidemic has devastated and effects on Naga society. Stressing on this, he pointed out that in 1990 Nagaland state reported its first HIV/ AIDS which was alarming and since then Nagaland has lost lots of lives to HIV. 

“The assumption and stigma of the people changes the environment which deeply affected those people who were infected with HIV/AIDs. That is the reason why our society still does not accept the changing situation,” he lamented. 

Ketho also stated that violence against women with HIV positive and discrimination is increasing in the society. “Today everyday on a average, 9 to 10 positive case is prevailing so we need to do much more to prevent HIV investing more our collectively efforts to minimize the rate of HIV,” he added. 

The other resource person Akangkokla Namo, Programme Officer, Family Planning Association of India, Nagaland branch shared a short video how HIV is transmitted and the root causes of HIV spreading from one person to another person. She spoke about the stages and symptoms of HIV that shows in a person. 

Clearing on the misconception between HIV and AIDS, she mentioned that HIV is virus and not disease which affects the immune system and AIDS is a last stage that already affected the immune system and have been damaged badly that various disease can enter easily. She stressed the needs and important which every individual should know people with AIDS have HIV but not every people with HIV will develop AIDS.  

A press release from Can Youth stated that earlier, welcomed address and introduction was delivered by moderated Mary Konyak, facilitator Development 4 Adolescent and highlighted about the Can Youth and one of its projects Development 4 Adolescent. The session concluded with vote of thanks by Suikolie, facilitator, Development 4 Adolescent where she appreciated the panelists and participants for their support and participants.