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Indore: Rally, skit mark St Raphael’s awareness campaign

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Indore: Students of St Raphael’s Higher Secondary School from class X section C organised a special assembly in school to express their solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide on World Aids Day on Friday. Developing correct understanding of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), students discussed the subject in detail with Sister Mary Stella and Sister Ganga Rawat. Representing Vishwas organisation, Mary chatted with students about various misconception concerning acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). “We need to understand that HIV is a virus and AIDS is a deficiency syndrome that affects people,” she explained. She encouraged students to be sensitive towards people who are suffering from the disease.

“The virus enters human body and spreads when blood, semen, or vaginal fluids from an infected person enter another person’s body, usually through sexual contact, from sharing needles when injecting drugs, or from mother to baby during birth,” Rawat said. She further elaborated that normal contact not involving exchange of body fluids with HIV infected person is perfectly safe. “Just because these people are sick, it does not mean we should fear them or run from them,” Rawat said. She explained that we should provide aid to patients and their families. Further, NSS unit of the school rallied from campus to MY hospital. Adding action to their statements, students distributed the global symbol of the disease, Red Ribbon among residents in the city. Volunteers later staged a skit at the hospital to create awareness on preventive measures of HIV infection. School principal Sr Preethi Thomas appealed students to unite in the fight against HIV.

Talking about the day, student Aradhya Verma said, “I did not know about the Red Ribbon before today’s programme. A lot of people did not know about it either.”Another student Shrasti Chauhan said “We distributed red ribbon to people and asked them to support AIDS patients with us. Many people were wondering about the ribbon. Teachers Sandhya Upadhyay and Meenu Shivsagar also did their bit in spreading awareness among people about HIV and AIDS. Sharing her experience of the rally, student Anushi Jain said, “I felt really happy to be supporting people who are in real need our love and support, not rejection and fear.”