IEC activities in Tamil Nadu have been formulated, taking into consideration the diverse cultural, linguistic and social backgrounds of different communities across the state. Awareness creation and information dissemination is always the key objective of IEC thereby motivating behaviour change among the high risk group population. Raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and perceptions about HIV, creating a demand for the health services, condom usage and also promoting the need for enabling environment for prevention, care and support so as to inform, advocate and reform the key population.  Subsequently, need based campaigns for promoting messages on ICTC, ART, STI, PPTCT, Stigma & discrimination & its related service centres had a greater impact among the target group.

Mass Media comprising entire electronic media, print, community media along with media mix with long format radio programme in All India Radio, long format programmes in Televisions – Doordarshan (DD), talk shows in DD during special events, community radio, newspapers and neighbourhood newspapers are the components under the Mass Media head which has telecasted, broadcasted and published key messages during campaigns and events in Tamilnadu.

Folk Media (Mid Media) has been recognized as a powerful communication tool to reach out to people with social messages particularly in rural areas.  Folk is a powerful medium of communication to disseminate difficult social messages in rural areas. Integration of messages with local culture helps rural people relate and respond easily.

Outdoor activities in various platforms like the erection of Permanent Hoardings in prominent places and hot spots in the State with district specific key messages on HIV/AIDS. Temporary Hoardings has its vital role in all campaigns & events.

Mobile IEC Vans

Mobile IEC Vans were introduced to reach out to the difficult to reach populations with HIV/AIDS messages. The vans are equipped with Audio Visual aids, IEC panels, pamphlets / posters, condom vending machine etc., intended to attract people and impart information through interactive materials. These mobile IEC vans are operated in Madurai and Pudukkottai districts. The mobile IEC vans are operated by the respective DAPCUs.

Youth Programmes

Red Ribbon Club

Red Ribbon Club (RRC) Programme is a voluntary on-campus intervention, aimed at heightening the risk perception and preventing HIV among youth. Red Ribbon Clubs have become a powerful medium to reach out to young people. Spearheaded by the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TNSACS), this programme is supported by the Higher Education Department and demonstrating the importance of inter-sector collaboration to address the issue of HIV / AIDS. RRC empower students in the age group of 17-25, by giving them information and life-skills to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS and changing the most active among them into peer educators.

Objectives

  • To reduce HIV infection among youth by raising their risk perception through behaviour change communication
  • To induce among youth the spirit to help and support people living with HIV/AIDS thereby reduces stigma and discrimination against PLHIVs.
  • To motivate youth and build their capacity as peer educators and change agents by developing their skills on leadership, negotiation, and team building.
  • To promote voluntary blood donation among youth

Activities

Red Ribbon Club programme with the objective of bringing about behaviour change in young minds employs various strategies like:

  • “10 hrs curriculum-“Celebrating Life” sessions to the RRC Volunteers by trained resource persons.
  • Peer education and leadership trainings to the RRC volunteers
  • College level competitions such as oratorical, drawing and quiz.
  • Interactions with positive people, Transgender, Injection Drug users and ICTC Counselors.
  • Exposure visits to ICTC, ART, Blood Bank and HIV Community Centre
  • HIV/ AIDS awareness campaigns (Rallies and Outreach activities) during events like International Youth Day (IYD), World AIDS Day (WAD), National Youth Day (NYD), National Voluntary Blood Donors Day (NVBD), World Blood Donation Day (WBD) and International Women’s Day (IWD).

Life Skill Education Programme

Life skill Education Programme (LSEP) in schools is being conducted through State Council for Educational Research & Training (SCERT) in coordination with Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TNSACS) to provide information on HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention in the context of growing up, and for imparting related life skills to students in high higher secondary schools.

The aims of LSEP is to knowing about themselves, their adolescence and their sexuality, learning basic facts on HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, understanding the risks involved in substance abuse, developing and reinforcing life skills that enable them to protect themselves, dispelling myths and clarifying misconceptions, finding ways in which they can help fight the HIV epidemic and encourage, positive attitudes towards people living with HIV.

The aims & objectives of LSEP

  • To reinforce/support development of behaviours that will empower adolescents to make healthy choices.
  • To provide opportunities for the reinforcement of existing positive behaviour and strengthening of life skills that enable young people to protect themselves from and to cope with risky situations they encounter in their live.
  • To ensure that all schools provide accurate age appropriate life skills based adolescence education in a sustained manner to adolescents (10-19 yrs) in classes 8th, 9th & 11th.
  • To equip every adolescent with accurate information, knowledge and life skills to protect themselves from HIV and manage Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health issues and concerns;
  • To effectively integrate adolescence education components in school curriculum as well as in institutes where teacher education courses takes place.

Activities:

Life Skill Education Programme with the objective of bringing awareness in adolescent minds employs various strategies like:

  • “16 hours – Life Skill Education session through trained teachers.
  • School/ Block/ District level competitions to the students.
  • HIV/ AIDS awareness campaigns (Rallies and Outreach activities) during events

Mainstreaming and Partnership:

HIV/AIDS is not a mere health issue: its occurrence is influenced by a number of socio-economic elements. Health interventions alone, therefore, cannot lead to its prevention. Its prevention requires a concerted collaborative effort from all organisations in public life through their work and programmes. This integrated, inclusive and multi-sectoral approach transfers the ownership of HIV/AIDS issues – including its direct and indirect causes, impact and response to various stakeholders, including the government, the corporate sector and civil society organisations. The focus of all organisations in mainstreaming is to adapt their core business to respond to the challenges of HIV/AIDS.

Challenges due to HIV / AIDS:

  • Loss of skilled employees
  • Large expenditure on healthcare, orphan care and social welfare
  • Negative impact on programmes relating to education, livelihood, social welfare, women and child health
  • Reduced revenues and lower returns on social investment.

Similarly, within the work of the corporate and business sector, HIV/AIDS can pose a serious threat to corporate performance through lowered productivity or disruption of operations and increased cost of employee healthcare.

Benefits of Mainstreaming

In order to check the emergence of such a situation, HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment is mainstreamed in all government schemes and activities, corporate sector and civil society. The latter contributes by awareness building on HIV/AIDS issues, especially among the poor and high risk groups. The collective effort is a vital force in fighting off stigma and discrimination associated with the epidemic. It has been a critical step in facilitating a nationwide sustained HIV/AIDS prevention and control programme, and has led to workplace policies addressing HIV/AIDS.  It has proven to be an efficacious cost-effective approach in containing the epidemic in the country. At the National Level NACO, (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) have signed an MoU with 14 Ministries and Departments to mainstream HIV / AIDS programme. The MoUs signed with following ministries and departments: Ministry of Coal, Department of Defence (Ministry of Defence), Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Ministry of Communications and Information Technology), Department of Telecommunication (Ministry of Communications and Information Technology), Department of Higher Education (Ministry of Human Resource Development), Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Shipping, Department of Sports (Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports), Department of Youth Affairs (Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports), Department of Commerce (Ministry of Commerce and Industry), Ministry of Rural Development. At State level TANSACS is taking all the efforts to Roll out MoUs (signed between Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other Ministries and Departments) with respective departments and sectors in the state.

Also, TANSACS has been extensively conducting sensitization and advocacy programme with various departments viz. Education, Rural Development, Police, Social Welfare, Tourism, Revenue, Transport, Legal and Civil Supply.

LEGAL AID CLINIC:

Legal Aid Clinics (LAC) have been established by TANSACS in association with Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority (TNSLSA) to address the Legal and Non Legal Issues of People Living with HIV / AIDS and Key Population. The Legal Aid Clinics are located in ART Centers for easy accessibility.