PLHA count on the rise in state: I Ibohanbi

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IMPHAL May 2: The Manipur Legislators’ Forum on HIV and AIDS (MLFA) organized a one day constituency level convention on HIV/AIDS at Lamdeng Awang Leikai Community Hall today.
Th Meinya, MP of inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency, MLAs N Nadakumar, NG Bijoy, Brajabidhu and I Ibohanbi also secretary of MLFA graced the occasion as dignitaries of the function.
MLA Ibohanbi in his speech stated that the state has a need to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and while mentioning causes for transmission of the virus, he said that the virus is spread through intravenous drug users, commercial sex workers, blood donors and from mother to child.
The state had seen a huge outbreak of the AIDS syndrome since the early 80’s, but through United Nations intervention through the World Health Organization, it has been able to curb the statistics with a steady downfall chart by carrying out various awareness programmes and through other means, he added.
But as of recent ,the state has witnessed a rise in the number of PLHA’s as the numbers have rose from less than 20% in the previous statistical count up to 26% at present , the reasons for the escalation is yet to be determined, he said.
The MLFA secretary further said that the affected persons need not lose hope as HIV/AIDS infection is no longer viewed as a life threatening scenario, the Anti Retro Viral Therapy (ART) has provided means to strengthen the immune system of the individual and many persons have accomplished extraordinary feats even after being a PLHA (Person Living With HIV/AIDS), the affected no longer needs to be afraid of the stigmatization as AIDS is no longer considered a disease.
The UN AIDS program facilitates the general awareness carried to the masses in regard to HIV/AIDS and the legislators have carried the torch to spread awareness right down to the grass root level through the political hierarchy system, he said.
Incidentally, the Community hall in which the program was conducted was also inaugurated today. The Lamdeng community hall was constructed with funding from the MP Local Area Development Scheme of TH Meinya and from the MLALADF contribution of Lamshang MLA W Brajabidhu at a total cost of Rs 19 lacs.

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