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Homearrow News and Events Year 2010 IGNOU flags off awareness campaign on HIV/AIDS -

IGNOU flags off awareness campaign on HIV/AIDS -

New Delhi: Through its School of Social Work (SOSW), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has launched a massive awareness campaign and formal programmes of study on HIV/AIDS for increasing its awareness in the country.

Some of the endeavors in this regard include:

A folder providing basic facts about the what, why, how of HIV/AIDS, titled 'HIV/AIDS Prevention guide for students' is being mailed to all the fresh students of IGNOU.

Every year, several regional-level seminars and an annual national seminar on 'Social Work Response to HIV/AIDS' are organized to sensitize academics, NGO functionaries and school teachers.

This year this seminar is being held in Kuttikkanam, Idukki district, Kerala, from August 19-22, 2010.

IGNOU also has a number of programmes of study that focus on various facets of HIV/AIDS. These programmes are geared towards providing professionally trained and skilled personnel to reinforce interventions in HIV/AIDS. Some of these programmes are:

1. Certificate in HIV and Family Education, (CAFE)

2. Diploma in HIV/AIDS and Family Education (DAFE)

3. Three electives on HIV /Family education & substance abuse

4. Three courses on HIV/AIDS are on offer in BPP Programme

5.. Course on HIV/AIDS: Stigma , discrimination and prevention, on offer in MSW, started in 2008

6. Introduction to HIV/AIDS, Adolescent and Family Education, launched in B.Ed in 2008

7. M.Phil and PhD students of SOSW undertake courses and dissertation on HIV/AIDS

Some of the courses on offer in CAFE and DAFE are 'Basics of HIV/AIDS', Alcohol, Drugs and HIV, Communications and Counseling in HIV followed by project work.

These programmes aim to develop the knowledge and skills needed for effective communication and responsible decision-making behaviour for protecting learners from AIDS.

"They are geared towards promoting behaviours that prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS and fostering attitudes and behaviours that will prevent discrimination against those who are infected with HIV/STD," said an official from the university.

IGNOU is also spreading awareness on HIV/AIDS through mass media. There are two dozen video programmes on HIV/AIDS and related topics being telecasted on Gyan Darshan, IGNOU's educational channel.

IGNOU's Gyan Vani also telecasts interactive radio counseling programme on HIV/AIDS, once a month.

There are an estimated 2.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the country, according to National AIDS Control Organization (NACO).

According to experts, the tragedy of HIV/AIDS in the worst-affected countries of sub-Saharan Africa is likely to repeat itself in India unless appropriate measures are taken in time to counter it.

In the absence of a vaccine for prevention and affordable drugs for treatment, the only way to prevent the spread of this disease is education and behaviour modification.

There is, however, a lot of misconception and misinformation on the subject, along with deep-seated resistance from parents and teachers for providing information on safe sex, the only way to stop AIDS.

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