Dharamshala: Himachal State AIDS Control Society organised a workshop of health educators and counsellors at Dharamshala to mark the conclusion of fortnight long awareness campaign launched on International Day against Drug Abuse.
The participants felt the most common form of drug use was alcohol and due to social acceptability and easy availability, it is becoming difficult to curb the menace of alcohol abuse. Alcohol use has been associated with a tendency toward high-risk sexual behaviours, including multiple sex partners, unprotected intercourse, sex with high-risk partners and the exchange of sex for money or drugs. Alcohol can act directly on the brain to reduce inhibitions and diminish risk perception. In 2009-10 the sale of liquor in Himachal alone was Rs. 8 crores.
There are 4410 HIV positive detected in the state of which, 1128 are in the district of Kangra, it was revealed.
Drug abuse contributes to HIV transmission through sharing of needles by intravenous drugA users, and increased sexual risk taking and subsequent spread of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
Dr RK Sood District AIDS Programme Officer said the campaign raised awareness and dispel myths and misconceptions for the fortnight through all health educators and other stakeholders. Youth were sensitized through advocacy workshops and truckers and migrants were covered through IPC workshops throughout the district.