April was the month for sexually transmitted diseases education and awareness in the U.S. We in India need to take a leaf out of the Americans book and also dedicate a month to spread awareness among our population, irrespective of location and gender, about this important health care issue.
There are millions of Indians who are suffering from STD’s like HIV, Gonorrhea, Genital Herpes, Chlamydia etc and the spread of these diseases is at an alarming rate due to ignorance and the stigma attached to these diseases and also because of plain embarrassment when it comes discussing this uncomfortable topic.
STD’s are generally transmitted through sexual contact but some of them can be passed on through skin to skin contact.
Prevention is always better than cure and in this instance a concerted effort is required by the government, NGO’s and the private sector to spread awareness about how to avoid contracting these diseases (most STD’s can be prevented through the use of condom), and also about how to get treatment for the same.
Unlike the U.S. we don’t have widely available testing facilities around our country, there is a need for putting up many more of such testing facilities and this is where the government and the private sector need to work together. Mobile testing units need to be built so that the rural areas of our vast country can be reached.
Doctors and other medical staff need to donate their time and expertise for this type of project to be successful. Schools, colleges and other educational education should educate their students about prevention of these diseases.
The press especially the T.V. channels needs to put its resources behind promoting the awareness month as there is hardly any coverage and public interest promotions on this subject (HIV being the only exception).
The Internet is another medium that needs to be used to mobilize the netizens and spread the word about these widespread yet not much talked about problem in our country.
This article is my humble attempt to get a public discussion going about the importance of tackling sexually transmitted diseases in India and if you think this is important and have any other ideas on how we can promote a STD awareness month, I would appreciate if you could leave your comments below and share this post via facebook and twitter to help spread the word.