Times of India
21 October 2010
Around 100 people living with HIV were identified and put on antiretroviral treatment in four districts of the state during the first phase of Link Worker Scheme of Caritas India, an NGO working to fight HIV prevalence in rural areas. The drive also saw setting up 105 red ribbon clubs in around 376 villages of the four districts – Surendranagar, Banaskantha, Dahod and Navsari.
The project had been initiated in partnership with National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and Gujarat State AIDS Control Society (GSACS). The project will now be extended to four new districts – Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Mehsana, NGO officials announced during an event, ‘Samvadotsav 2010’, at Ahmedabad Management Association on Wednesday.
Talking to TOI, Caritas India assistant executive director Fr Frederick D Souza said, "Phase II of the project will extend our reach to another 400 villages where our aim would be ensure rural community’s access to public health services pertaining to prevention and treatment of HIV, TB and sexually transmitted infections."
He added, "In an interesting trend, women have now become vocal about HIV and issues around it, which is a healthy change for society."
About the project, project coordinator Susan Thomas said, "All efforts are to ensure that people come forward with their problems and programme is owned by the community in a long run. The idea is to bring in behavioral change where people are informed and prevent spread of the disease."
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