`Church leaders must tackle HIV/AIDS issue`

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IMPHAL, August 21: A one day training cum-seminar programme on HIV/AIDS awareness was held today Lanthunching village, Langol organized by the Southern Tangkhul Baptist Association, Manipur under the sponsorship of Tribal Research Institute (TRI).

The seminar was graced by Z. Solomon, joint director TRI as the chief guest of the function while Standhope Chaplain STNBA Fellowship, Imphal attended as the moderator.

While addressing the seminar as the chief guest, Z. Solomon, enlighten the gathering on vital role played by Chruch leaders in combating HIV/AIDS. He stress the need of organizing mass awareness campaign in church level and impart education on HIV/AIDS.

TRI is a small department with only 11 staffs however it have been organizing awareness on community based levels to preserve and uphold the indigenous culture and scripts. For this year the department has taken up awareness campaign on HIV/AIDS, he informed.

While speaking as the resource person on the topic “Role of Church leaders in Combating HIV/AIDS to mainstreaming”, SK. Victor, consultant mainstreaming MACS, informed that 38,000 persons of the general population has been confirmed with living with HIV/AIDS virus adding Ukhrul remained the high prevalent rate districts followed by Churachandpur district. He further informed that the transmission level have increase through unsafe sexual relationship.

While comparing the high prevalent rate he informed that Myanmar is at 1.3 prevalent rate while India at 0.9.

He observed that stigma and discrimination is high within the Christian society, people living with HIV/AIDS are considered to be sinners and cited lack of awareness the main cause for the stigma and discrimination.

The resource person said that combating of HIV/AIDS as an individual is bound by his/her religion. He said that church leaders such as partors, deacon and other church member plays important role in efficient combat against the HIV/AIDS as “the change of human and change of risk can be brought by the religious leaders” he added.    

Lalpu Mangte also spoke during the awareness programme as resource person on the topic “Care on HIV/AIDS”.

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