Shillong: Joining people all over the globe, World AIDS Day was observed in Meghalaya on Tuesday to show support for people living with and affected by HIV and to remember those who lost their lives to AIDS. The theme of the observation was ‘Global Solidarity and Shared Responsibility’.
The programme organised by the Meghalaya AIDS Control Society (MACS) in collaboration with the Meghalaya State Legal Services Authority was held at U Soso Tham Auditorium, Shillong.
Speaking as the chief guest, Sampath Kumar, Commissioner & Secretary, Health & Family Welfare Department, and President, Meghalaya AIDS Control Society, Shillong informed that Meghalaya ranks fifth in the country in terms of the prevalence of HIV cases and second in the highest number of syphilis cases among pregnant women.
Therefore, concerted efforts are required in creating awareness on preventive measures to address these health issues. Furthermore, he cited that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus the importance of healthcare and the need to strengthen the health system. Praising the role of NACO and MACS for their continued fight to educate the masses on HIV and end stigmatization, he stressed the importance of testing and adherence to treatment.
District and Sessions Judge and Member Secretary of the Meghalaya State Legal Services Authority, NA Khan spoke at length above the legal framework available to protect the rights of those living with HIV/AIDS.
To mark the occasion, Freestyle for 15, an Instagram sports event contest and theme song on HIV/AIDS “Stand Up”, composed and arranged by the renowned artist of the State, Lamphang Syiemlieh was launched on the day. Prizes were also distributed to the winners of the ‘Promote HIV Testing’ contest.