To create awareness among adolescents about HIV/ AIDS, the need of the hour is involvement of parents and educators to impart knowledge about this disease as this group has become most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS infection and transmission in the north-eastern state of Manipur. This information was shared by Dr Lucy Dui-dang, deputy director, Manipur AIDS Control Society (MACS).
Speaking as a presidium member at the Three days training on adolescent education for school teachers organised by the State Council of Educational Research & Training (SCERT), Manipur, Dr Dui-dang elaborated that the route of HIV/AIDS transmission through casual sex has become the latest trend among the population in the state, according to studies and analyses. She added that the incidence or risk factors of female sex workers (FSWs) and injecting drug users (IDUs) have declined in Manipur but the cases among adolescents has been rising at an alarming rate.
In HIV infection, incidence is often used to estimate whether the HIV risk (or an HIV-related illness) is increasing or decreasing within a certain group, usually on a year-on-year basis. Incidence is also used by researchers to determine if a change in a certain factor, for instance, the access to treatment, public policy may alter the risk factor within population groups. In addition, predicting risk through incidence analyses allow for optimal resource allocation.
The deputy director pointed out that FSWs and IDUs participate in targetted intervention programmes and these communities are educated resulting to reduction in their incidence of HIV/ AIDS. However, the incidence among the adolescent groups is hardly declining apart from many unmarried persons in the state being found infected with the disease’s virus according to data collected from various districts in the state. Therefore, it is time to consider the issue as a serious concern and impart knowledge of the disease to adolescents, especially by educators and parents.
Dr Dui-dang stressed on the need of guiding youngsters on the right path during their adolescence, adding this group is the most vulnerable as they want to try out new things, including sexual activities, due to hormonal change at this period and peer pressure. The deputy director highlighted that Manipur comprises almost 1/3rd of the total HIV infected population in the North East region with around 13,000 people being infected with HIV out of the estimated total infected population of 32,000 in the region.
Information courtesy: The Sangai Express