IMPHAL, May 15 : The 33rd International Candlelight Memorial Day 2016 was observed here today at MDU Hall under the aegis of the Manipur Network of Positive People (MNP+).
Offering of homage to the victims of HIV/AIDS was the main highlight of the function . The gathering also observed silence for one minute in memory of all the victims of HIV/AIDS.
Speaking on the occasion, Manipur State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) Joint Director Abiram Mongjam said that altogether 28,000 people including 2800 children have been registered at different ART centres and they have been taking ART drugs from these centres.
Manipur has now second line ART facility and due preparations are being for introducing third line ART.
If people living with HIV/AIDS wish to marry, they need proper counselling otherwise there is a strong possibility of horizontal transmission.
Around 37 million people are living with HIV/AIDS across the world and this year’s theme for the International Candlelight Memorial Day is ‘Engage, Educate and Empower’ which is basically aimed at prevention of HIV/AIDS transmission, Abiram said.
AMWJU president Wangkhemcha Shamjai observed that the task of tackling the issue of HIV/AIDS should not be left alone to MSACS. It should be a collective responsibility of both the Government and NGOs.
MSACS and AMWJU have been coordinating on the issue since the past and AMWJU would be happy to render all possible assistance in the future too, Shamjai said.
He observed that the growth of commercial sex workers in the State is one factor for transmission of HIV/AIDS in the State. As such, all commercial sex workers should be made fully aware about HIV/AIDS, he added.
Human Rights Alert executive director Babloo Loitongbam, CORE president Dr L Debabratta and Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights member Pradip Keisam were also present at the function.