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Series of Events Planned For AIDS Awareness

Indian Express
29 November 2010

Series of Events Planned For AIDS Awareness
AHEAD of World AIDS Day (December 1), Wake Up Pune, an awareness campaign of Deep Griha Society that has been sensitising the public about HIV, said there was a demand for Sex Education at schools. Children are clueless as they do not get information at schools or homes, says Ryan Beck Turner, coordinator of the Wake Up Pune campaign.

Volunteers and staff of Deep Griha/Wake Up Pune have been focusing on prevention of HIV by working with students. A short survey was con ducted in the form of questionnaires at five different schools on HIV, personal development, and sexual health and the children voiced their demand for more information. The survey found that many of them are deeply distressed because they have so many questions and concerns but there is no one to answer," said Katie Peters, a sexual-health researcher volunteer with Wake Up Pune.

The international theme of World AIDS Day 2010 is Lights for Human Rights. "We decided to do things differently this year.

Rather than throwing one big event, a series of events have been planned," said Ryan Beck Turner, Coordinator at Wake Up Pune One such event is Stigma Tunnel. The Stigma Tunnel is designed to give participants a glimpse into the lives of stigmatised positive people. It consists of four rooms: a doctor’s office where the participant is diagnosed HIV+, a room where the participant is rejected by family, a room where the partici pant is rejected by the community, and finally, an empty, dark room that symbolises the alienation and isolation faced by positive people.

Wake Up Pune will organise a march on December 1 from B J Medical to Shaniwar Wada beginning at 10 am. On December 2, there will be an HIV-themed talent contest for six 6 nursing colleges at SGS Mall between 4 and 6 pm.

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