January 7, 2013
The Tamil Nadu AIDS Control Society (TANSACS) of India has organized a series of cultural performances in rural areas to educate local people as part of a lengthy HIV/AIDS awareness campaign. According to TANSACS District Program Manager B. Mohamed Ali, the campaign's focus is to create awareness in rural areas using an easily understandable format. Throughout a 50-day period, a group of folk artistes will tour rural areas in 23 districts. Every day, they will give two 90-minute performances, using songs and dialogue prepared exclusively to help them spread information.
The group will be accompanied by an integrated counseling and testing center mobile van, medical counselors trained to answer the public's questions, and laboratory technicians to conduct free medical tests. In addition, they will distribute free condoms, materials on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infection, safe blood donation, and preventing parent-to-child HIV transmission. TANSACS will also provide information, education, and communication booths at program venues. Ali noted that TANSACS has implemented several projects to achieve the World Health Organization's goals of zero new infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero stigma and discrimination.