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PROs on AIDS Awareness Duty

Jaipur: The next time you come across a Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) land auction advertisement with AIDS awareness slogan or a public relations officer from a government department delivering a lecture against discrimination of HIV–positive people, don’t be surprised.

The Rajasthan State Aids Control Society (RSACS) and United Nations Development Project have initiated efforts to associate government departments in “Mainstreaming” of HIV/AIDS project. In the first phase workshops are being held to educate public relations officials from these departments on the issue.

“AIDS is an issue of concern for the whole society and so it was felt that departments other than health must be sensitized on the issue,” said Ashok Raisinghani, project officer, UNDP. “Though the spread of the disease has been relatively low in Rajasthan, yet efforts are needed to stop spread of the disease,” he added.

The public relations officials as volunteers of the AIDS programme will try to find every possible means to include awareness drive as part of their usual activities. However, the final decision in this regard will rest with the head of their respective departments.

A workshop was held by RSACS on Saturday where public relations officials from 31 state government departments took their lessons about HIV/AIDS. Inclusion of HIV slogans on office literature and advertisements, making awareness material available at every office and assisting in “Mainstreaming” of HIV patients were some of the suggestions that surfaced during the workshop.

“HIV is a matter of concern for all, but now that we are being updated further about it we will consider all the options available to contribute in reducing the spread of the virus and “Mainstreaming” the HIV patients,” said Prabhat Goswami, OSD public relations, JDA.

This is the first such initiative in the state to bring together government departments on this issue. However, UNDP has been successful in geting collaboration of some private companies. A multi–national company, involved in agreements with thousands of farmers, had recently organized an AIDS awareness camp for its employees and their spouses.

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Source: Times of India

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