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Misconceptions about modes of HIV transmission

Staff Reporter

Workshop finds that knowledge gaps exist even among the health workers


  • Some health workers believed even hugging could transmit HIV
  • Some were unaware of sharing of needles for tattooing or ear piercing

    CHENNAI: Even some health workers are not fully aware about the exact way HIV is transmitted, a recent workshop showed.

    More than 30 per cent of the healthcare providers who attended a one-day workshop on `HIV/AIDS and infection prevention,' organised by the Chennai branch of the Family Planning Association of India, believed that HIV/AIDS is spread even by hugging a patient.

    The participants included Multipurpose Health Workers (MPHWs) working in the Urban Health Posts (UHPs) of Vadapalani and Saidapet Zones of the Chennai Corporation.

    Most participants believed that people shared needles only for injecting drugs. They were unaware of their use for tattooing, steroid injections or ear piercing. Adolescents were identified as a segment with a higher risk of getting sexually transmitted infections and HIV than adults. Chances of being infected with HIV are higher if one has STI.

    Women are more at risk of HIV infection through sexual intercourse, the participants were told.

    The most important HIV prevention message for the youth is to avoid premarital sex and sex with multiple partners.

    Gunasekaran, Deputy Director (STD), Chennai Corporation, while dealing with `Introduction of HIV/AIDS and Situation Analysis of India,' outlined various steps being taken for its prevention.

    K. Kantharaj, former Deputy Director, TANSACS, held a session on `Management of HIV/AIDS and Infection Prevention & STIs.'

    Shanthi, tutor in Department of Clinical Psychology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai, focused on counselling aspects of HIV/AIDS.

    Ranjini Murugan, FPAI branch president; Vathsala Narayanaswamy, FPAI member and Banumathi, Zonal Medical Officer of Vadapalani Zone, participated.

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