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A woman signs on a board during an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign on the World AIDS Day. (IANS)

Palakkad in Kerala Becomes First HIV/AIDS Literate District

Kerala’s Palakkad district will become the first total HIV/AIDS literate district in the country due mainly to joint initiatives of civic authorities and KESS-HAPPI, a voluntary organisation which helped win the status.

Just as Kottayam became India’s first city to achieve 100 percent literacy in 1989, so is Palakkad is all set to be honoured with the status of being the first district that took care of its HIV/AIDS patients’ literacy.

According to the United Nations, India has 3rd-highest number of HIV-infected people. The 2013 report said India had 2.40 million people who were infected with the deadly virus.

According to the UN data, there are 1200 people infected with HIV/AIDS in Palakkad district. To control and remove the stigma and discrimination in society, the project was launched.

It is also said that the HIV treatment coverage in India is only 36 per cent, and due to unprecedented levels of stigma and discrimination many AIDS related deaths go unreported.

A project named Jyotirgamaya was implemented with the cooperation of 91 gram panchayats and four municipalities in the district, to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS, which is the first step to protection. If people are aware about the perils of the disease and about how it spreads, chances are that they will be more careful, which will eventually result in good result.

Many seminar and awareness classes had been conducted with special focus on schools and colleges and pamphlets had been distributed in every household educational institutions and other establishments in these areas with the support of members of KESS-HAPPI.

Under Jyothirgamaya project, workers of Asha, Anganwadi and Kudumbasree and many other organisations worked together and distributed pamphlets in every household, conducted awareness classes, quiz contests and rallies.

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