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Homearrow News and Events Year 2010 Due to Lack of Awareness, Migrant Labourer in Punjab Prone to HIV/AIDS

Due to Lack of Awareness, Migrant Labourer in Punjab Prone to HIV/AIDS

A study conducted by the Ludhiana Citizens Health Council, in association with the Punjab chapter of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) reveals that lack of awareness and illiteracy is the root cause behind increase in cases of HIV/AIDS among migrant laboureres in the city.

The HIV positive cases are 0.56 per cent, followed by HIV/AIDS occurrence rate of 0.7 per cent in the migrant populace settled in Ludhiana, reveals the study.

The study conducted under the “participatory action research programme”, funded by the University Grants Commission (UGC), went on for a period of four years.

During the study, Dr SC Gupta, secretary general, Ludhiana Citizens Health Council, and former professor and head, department of Health Education and Family Welfare, along with Renu Bhasin, project coordinator, IUHPE, conducted pre and post–AIDS preventive education intervention programmes. There was a remarkable difference in the behaviour of migrant workers before and after the prevention education intervention on HIV/AIDS.

Dr Gupta said: “The study was part of a UGC project, which was undertaken to see the viability of the awareness programmes initiated by the department of Health and Family Welfare on HIV/AIDS, including the helpfulness of the Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTCs).”

In a data collected from 1,500 respondents working in large and small industries of Ludhiana, the council concluded that more than 90 per cent of the workers were unaware of HIV/AIDS, its symptoms, modes of transmission and the availability of the testing facility at the ICTCs.

A majority of the industrial workers were found to be illiterate, younger in age and married, but the most shocking revelation during the pre–AIDS prevention intervention was little knowledge of migrant workers on the modes of transmission of AIDS and its symptoms. “Only 17 per cent of the migrant workers had heard about AIDS and they had no knowledge about contraceptives and repercussions of multiple sex relations,” said Dr Gupta.

However, after the exposure to the planned HIV/AIDS preventive education services and orientations, more than 83 per cent workers knew about the disease, symptoms and modes of transmission, Dr Gupta added.

Following a regular follow up with special emphasis on testing of HIV/AIDS during the study, 710 industrial workers underwent ‘Elisa’ testing and three were tested positive for HIV, followed by one full–blown case of HIV/AIDS.

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Source: Punjab Newsline




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