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Nagaland observes 41st International AIDS Candlelight memorial

AIDS memorial

KOHIMA, MAY 19: Nagaland State level 41st International AIDS Candlelight memorial on the theme “Together We Remember, Together We Heal, through Love & Solidarity” was observed today at St Joseph College, Jakhama.
Hundreds of students and well wishers under the aegis of Nagaland State AIDS Control Society attended the programme organized by NNP+, KNP+, ARK Foundation, FPA India and Red Ribbon Club (RCC) of St Joseph College.
President NNP+ Lanu spoke on the significance of International AIDS Candlelight memorial where communities from all around the world come together to honour the lives lost to AIDS, show support for people living with HIV. He also said, the event is unique that it promotes discussion, education and action around HIV/AIDS.
Additional Director (GIPA) NSACS Moasangla speaking on the theme “Together we remember, together we heal, through Love & Solidarity” emphasized on the importance of doing away social stigma, but show love and solidarity and compassion and said people with questions and concerns on HIV may dial toll free number 1097 with their doubts and queries.
District ICTC Supervisor, DISHA/DAPCU, Vituozolie Kuotsu presented the latest HIV scenario in Nagaland and stated that Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur stands with the highest adult HIV prevalence respectively in India as per NACO HIV estimation 2022.
Solidarity messages were also delivered by Dr. Sr Ranit, Vice Principal, Academic Affairs SJC (A) saying it is time to show our unwavering support to those living with HIV.
This is a time for solemn reflection and call to action and a beacon of hope. Ever since there has been a tremendous advancement in treatment, education and prevention but the journey is far from over, he said.
Millions continue to live with the daily challenges posed by this virus and countless more are affected by the loss of love ones. Their memories fuel our determination to fight for a future free from HIV and AIDS, he said.
“Our progress thus far has been made possible through the tireless works of scientist, health care professionals, activist and community members. Thanks to their effort”, he said.
HIV is no longer a death sentence but a manageable condition but the stigma and discrimination persist, he said, preventing many from seeking the care and support they need adding tonight let us renew our commitment to education and awareness.
Director ARK Foundation Ketho Angami, speaking on the response to HIV, said it is still unfortunate that people continue to die of a manageable disease adding overcoming the barrier of stigma and discrimination is still a challenge despite the response, effort and collective response and support. He also reflected on the high incidences of HIV in Nagaland and cautioned the participants to seriously consider the issue, he said.
The goal to reverse and end the AIDS epidemic as per the SDG is 2030, the progress made so far and the scenario of HIV is bleak looking at the situation, he added.
Dean of Sciences, Kohima Science College (A), Jotsoma, Prof. Limatemjen shared that the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial serves as a poignant reminder of the lives lost to HIV/AIDS and the ongoing challenges in the fight against the epidemic. It embodies the principles of compassion, solidarity, and resilience, uniting communities around the world in a shared mission to end the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS. As we honor the memory of those we have lost, let us also renew our commitment to building a future where everyone, regardless of HIV status, can live with dignity, equality and hope.
RRC President, St Joseph College, Ranchenthung chaired the programme while Sister Vitsonino and group enthralled with a special number In remembrance.
(Page News Service)