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World AIDS Day 2011

World AIDS Day is observed all over the world on the 1st of December every year. It is a day dedicated to spread the word about the AIDS pandemic which is caused by the spread of HIV infection. Till date more than 30 million people around the world have been killed by the disease and more than 35 million people including children are living with HIV, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history.

When it comes to India, the first AIDS case was detected in 1986 and since then HIV related diseases have been reported in all states and union territories. Not only this, 60% of the estimated 5.5 million HIV infections in India are from rural areas and majority of the awareness interventions focus on urban centers. To meet the needs of rural India, for the last four years, ACM GIDF is running a project in district Guna of Madhya Pradesh – targeting the high risk group of truckers & who are recognized ‘transmission-bridges’ of HIV/AIDS.

This year on World AIDS Day, we conducted various activities in villages of Guna with a simple motive of spreading awareness on HIV/AIDS. The activities were designed in a way that would focus on sensitizing the rural adolescent boys and girls, so that we can train them to be self motivated village level peer educators who could spread the message on HIV/AIDS to people they know in the community. Apart from awareness meetings, we also conducted a slogan writing & quiz competition on HIV/AIDS amongst 300 college students, showed them a movie based on the issue and also conducted a cricket match in the community ground.

We also seen the participation of a few members from our rural artisan training programme in Kozikode, Kerala who had conducted an awareness rally in the town of Thamarassery followed by a sensitization meeting that was held in the community by us.