Shimla: In order to increase awareness of HIV prevention amongst the students, Secretary (Health) Amitabh Awasthi has directed the Directorate of Higher Education to add to include a lesson on HIV prevention in the curriculum for IX to XII classes.

A committee under the chairmanship of IAS Rupali Thakur was constituted to prepare an action plan for the successful implementation of the mission.

Representatives of Panchayati Raj, Education, Rural Development, Health and Youth Sports Services would be members of the committee.

While presiding over an inter-departmental meeting organised by HP State AIDS Control Society (HPSACS) for mainstreaming HIV activities to eradicate the epidemic by 2030, Awasthi said that collective and concerted efforts must be made to end HIV by 2030.

“HIV awareness must be made in youth festivals organized in educational institutions and by Youth Sports and Services Department,” said Awasthi.

He said that it was important that the right information on HIV is provided to adolescents and youths, in which Red Ribbon Clubs (RRC) play a vital role.  There are 259 RRCs in the various educational institutions of the state.

He also directed the Department of Higher Education, Technical Education, HP University, HP Technical University and HP State Private Educational Institution Regulatory Commission to establish RRCs in their respective institutions and organise awareness activities.

He said that radical ideas should be brought forward and to achieve desired results work must be done in mission mode. Efforts should be made to organise special projects on nutrition support for People Living with HIV (PLHIV), skill-building for self-employment of PLHIVs and adoption of Children Affected by AIDS (CABA). 

He directed all the departments and organizations conducting CSR activities to organise campaigns on HIV prevention. He asked Public Sector Undertaking companies to establish HIV testing facilities in their health setups.