IMPHAL, May 18: The 31st International AIDS candlelight Memorial was widely observed in the state today.
The day was observed at the Yaishkul Hiruhanba Leikai secretariat office of the MNP+ jointly organised by MNP+, VIHAAN project and MSACS under the theme ‘Let’s keep the light on HIV’.
Joint Director, TI, Manipur State AIDS Control Society, Abhiram Mongjam attended as the chief guest, nodal officer, ART centre, department of medicine, JNIMS, assistant professor, K Lokheshwar Singh as the guest of honour and MNP+, general secretary, Udita Salam as the president.
Deputy Director, Basic Service Manipur, Dr Meena, Monitory and Evaluation Officer, MSACS, Tilotama and Carmel Jyoti school sisters were also present in the function.
Giving the keynote address, L Deven said that the theme “Lets’ keep the light on HIV” aims encourage all to be positive and look forward.
He added, with the post-2015 development agenda nearing, and the imminent replenishment of the Global Fund, the theme speaks of the urgent need to ensure that HIV and AIDS do not drop off from the agenda of the international policy makers.
It also raise awareness on community mobilization campaigns to raise social consciousness about HIV and AIDS for global solidarity, breaking down barriers of stigma and discrimination and giving hopes to new generations, it said.
During the function, K Lokheshwar Singh said that the society needs to come forward, with a positive approach, correcting the wrongs.
People from all professionals should come together and exchange ideas on this matter, he asserted.
He further observed that the important agenda is the lack of education, lack of advocacy, unawareness about the infection and medical check ups and medication.
Abhiram Mongjam said that people should not ignore the HIV/AIDS issues; instead everyone should understand and find a way to prolong life, and to live a productive life within the society.
He further strongly appealed to the media to extend all possible help to disseminate awareness on HIV/AIDS as a moral responsibility towards the people.
He also appealed to all citizens to support and cooperate with one another which is the need of the hour.
Meanwhile, the Christian Network of Positive Women, Manipur also observed the day in association with several Self Help Groups at the conference hall of the Youth Hostel, Khuman Lampak.
A press release of the network said that the day was observed as part of a memorial service for all the ‘loved and dear ones’ lost due to HIV/AIDS and to spread awareness against the spread of the virus.
It said the day was also observed in the morning in association with the MBC Cenre Church at the church.
The Manipur Network of Positive People Thoubal also observed the day at its conference hall supported by the Manipur State AIDS Control Society.