Hundred of villagers volunteer for HIV testing in rural Balangir

January 22, 2010 at 7:04 pm Leave a comment

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

Asking a person to give his blood for HIV/AIDS testing and that too in a village is a tricky proposition which is likely to evoke a negative response.

However, much to the pleasant surprise, around one hundred of villagers, including pregnant women, migrant labourers, students and TB patients turned up voluntarily to get their blood tested for HIV at a camp held at village Salepali in Chandanbhati Gram Panchayat, 10 km from here, earlier this week. A meeting of Panchayati Raj representatives of Chandanbhati GP was held wherein they were sensitised about HIV/AIDS and its prevention.

Ward member of village Salepali Chandrashekhar Dharua, who attended the meeting, laid stress on voluntarily testing for a HIV-free village. The meeting was sponsored by Action Aid, which is implementing the Link Worker Scheme (LWS) in Balangir district.

Besides holding a rally on the World AIDS Day to sensitise villagers about HIV/AIDS, a series a meetings were also organised at the village. There is no treatment for the dreaded disease and the only remedy is prevention, said a Link Worker, Panchannan.

Members of Jaibada Deo Adivasi Yubak Parishad held a meeting and sensitised villagers about the blood checking camp and the villagers agreed to get their blood tested, said president of the Parishad Baishnab Pradhan. Anganwadi and Asha workers also motivated pregnant and other women of the village to go in for HIV testing.

As villagers are facing difficulty in going to Balangir for blood test, they demanded holding of a camp in the village. As a result, the camp was held in the village.

Before going for blood test, the villagers were counselled about why their blood would be tested and what HIV/AIDS is. They were advised for blood test again in the next three months at the ICTC Balangir for future confirmation. This is because a person even if contacting HIV the test result would come out negative as the window period of HIV/AIDS is three months and only after donating blood or checking blood in next three months a case of HIV/AIDS infection would be confirmed.

Baba (22), (name changed), along with his wife, volunteered for blood test as he believes prevention is the best method. A 14-year-old boy, Krish (name also changed), also turned up for blood test. Besides, a TB patient too came for his blood checking.

All the collected blood samples would be put to further test through rapid kits, explained a counsellor, Alok.

However, the crucial aspect of this blood test lies in organising another such camp in the village for a second checking of their HIV status and removing the fear of HIV/AIDS, failing which the entire effort would end in vain. Will the villagers test their blood status again? Time will say.

Entry filed under: Balangir, Health Care Facility, HIV/AIDS diagnosis facilities, Region watch.

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