In rural India, there is a lack of education and awareness about HIV: what it is, how it spreads, how it can be prevented and its treatment. This is especially true of the villages around Alamparai. In 2007, TEWFI developed an HIV/AIDS Awareness Programme as part of the Post Tsunami Health Care and Research Project and this is being continued now. Broadly, the programme covered:
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- What is HIV/AIDS?
- Modes of transmission and misconceptions
- Testing for HIV and the Integrated Counselling and Testing Center
- The ABC concept: Abstinence before marriage, Be faithful to your partner after marriage, Condom usage. To enforce this message, Uluru Health Care Centre (UHCC) provides free condoms and advice.
This programme was targetted at youth groups and adolescent girls (between 18 to 30 years) and was conducted in four surrounding villages: Othukauttamman, Kadapakkam Kuppam, Thanumariamman and Pannaiyur Peria Kuppum. Now this programme has also extended to other communities such as Kottaikadu, Vilamboor, Sembulipuram and Gangadevan Kuppam. In total, 200 individuals participated with some subsequently being tested for HIV, and others receiving counselling.
Every year on Dec 01 World Aids Day is observed for the youth groups in the community. First time in last year 2010, World Aids Day was observed for the Adolescent Girls in the Community. Games were organized in the community to motivate their participation. Adolescent girls prepared cultural programmes such as Skit, Dance, and a puppet show on HIV/AIDS and performed it to the participants. Around 70 Adolescent girls participated in the programme. TEWFI social workers are keen to make these HIV programmes a regular activity to be held at the UNDP Women’s Centre, and are seeking funds from the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society.