Tibetans observing World AIDS Day in Dharamshala, India, on December 1, 2018. Photo: TPI/ Divya Pandey

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Dharamshala, India — Observed on December 1st, since 1988, World AIDS Day is one of the eight official global public health campaigns by World Health Organisation (WHO).

Mcleod Ganj, joined the global effort to commemorate the day under the theme “Know Your Status”, to spread awareness about the symptoms, causes and preventive measures of the rampant disease HIV/AIDS.

The Tibetan activists, dressed in white with a red ribbon symbolising solidarity and support toward the people, walking with slogans all around the town from The Dalai Lama Temple to Bugsunath road, ensuring quality testing to all and striving to eradicate the stigma surrounding the disease.

The Tibetan Women Association also joined the initiative in their capacity and promoted the cause. This included a range of interactive activities, distributing posters, pamphlets, books, etc.

The drive was organised by Kunphen Centre and Tibetan Settlement Office to accelerate the breakthrough against HIV/AIDS by encouraging people to embrace HIV testing and know their status.

The hospitals in the town, namely: Mentse Khang and Delek Hospital, provided free services and treatment as soon after diagnosis as possible, to the people in the form of blood tests, Blood Pressure checkups, etc. which included free Medicare for one week. As the’ WHO TREAT ALL’ guidelines by WHO makes it clear that knowledge alone will not cure the disease.

Preconception is the fault. Communication is the solution. Talk about AIDS, spread the word. Lets remove the stigma and taboo surrounding it and wear the Red Cross with pride.