The State is a medium prevalence state with concentrative type of HIV epidemic. Providing Information Education and Communication (IEC) to the masses, mainstreaming and Behavior Change Communication (BCC), to the vulnerable population are the key approaches in the state. For creating awareness about prevention and control of HIV/AIDS through various IEC activities are organized in Gujarat viz. displaying messages in Mass Media/Mid Media, printing and distribution of brochures, flip-charts, posters etc.
Mainstreaming and Youth
No man is an island, the old line goes. In the public arena, there is an analogue: no cause, no mission can exist in isolation. Without its acceptance by society, without a variety of institutional and individual stakeholders taking ownership of it, no health issue can be truly challenged or mainstreamed. The Indian experience of HIV/AIDS is telling in this respect. Substantial progress has been made in prizing open the silent spaces, encouraging conversation about the virus and its implications. Yet, to understand mainstreaming one has to be clear of what it entails.
Simply put, mainstreaming is recognition of the reality that HIV/AIDS is not just a medical or public health issue, to be left to doctors and scientists. It is a process that has an impact on and, therefore, necessitates response from all sectors, whether now or in the future. It has, both internal and external implications for each sector. Gujarat is implementing various projects/programmes in coordination with different departments.
Mainstreaming with Education Department
Following programmes/projects are being implemented in coordination with Education Department.
Red Ribbon Club Programme
Red Ribbon Clubs are envisaged to instill among all the students in the educational institutions values of service, develop healthy life styles, and increase access to safe and adequate quantities of blood to all the needy by promotion of Regular voluntary blood donation. Through this programme 5 important Health issues like drug addiction, good eating habits, reproductive & sexual health including RTI/STI and HIV/AIDS, voluntary blood donation promotion and Stress & Strain free Enviournment are being covered.
The program is being implemented in 530 colleges of 7 Universities in the coordination with Higher Education Dept. in 11 districts viz; Surat, Basnaskantha, Mehsana Vadodara, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Ahmedabad Anand, Patan, Jamnagar and Junagadh.
Health Education and Lifeskill Programme (HELP)
Health Education and Lifeskill Programme (HELP) has been sanctioned with the ultimate aim of wholesome development of the adolescent keeping health at the core through increasing the capacity of the adolescent so that they can control their health by State Coordination Committee (SCC) chaired by Principal Secretary (Education), GoG. This programme is to be implemented in 2500 schools of Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Vadodara, Ananad, Panchamahal, Dahod and Rajkot districts. ‘Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training’ (GCERT) is the Nodal Agency for this programme. A comprehensive module for HELP has been already developed for teachers. Later this month,teachers training programme are to be organized.
Link Worker Scheme (LWS)
The scheme is generating a cadre of trained local personnel as Link Workers and volunteers to work with High Risk Groups (HRGs) and vulnerable young people and women towards the following:
Presently the LWS is being implemented in 11districts in Gujarat viz; Valsad, Surat, Vadodara (funded by UNICEF), while funded by Global Fund Round 7 in Dahod, Surendranagar, Navsari, Banaskantha, Mehsana, Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Bhavnagar.
Red Ribbon Express 2012
The Red Ribbon Express, a special train which travels across the country to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, reproductive and child health services, general health and hygiene, was launched on the National Youth Day 12th January 2012. During its 14-day journey in Gujarat from 17th February 2012 to 2nd March 2012, a total of 2,13,074 persons visited the on-board exhibitions at the 7 railway stations, viz. Vadodara, Patan, Surendranagar, Hapa-Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad and Valsad. This reflects a spectacular rise over the total number of visitors during 35 days at 15 railway-stations in RRE-I (1,27,588) in 2007-08 and 13 days at 6 railway-stations in RRE-II (1,20,122) in 2009-10.