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Information, Education & Communication

IEC & Mainstreaming

Information, Education & Communication

Communication is the key to generating awareness on prevention as well as motivating access to treatment, care and support. With the launch of National AIDS Control Program (NACP IV), the impetus is on standardising the lessons learned during the third phase. Communication in NACP IV is directed:

  • To increase knowledge among general population (especially youth and women) on safe sexual behaviour
  • To sustain behaviour change in at risk populations (high risk groups and bridge populations)
  • To generate demand for care, support and treatment services
  • To strengthen the enabling environment by facilitating appropriate changes in societal norms that reinforces positive attitudes, beliefs and practices to reduce stigma and discrimination

Key Activities

An annual media calendar is prepared to strategize, streamline and synergise mass media campaigns with other outreach activities and mid-media activities. Campaigns are being conducucted on voluntary blood donation, condom promotion, sexually transmitted infections, stigma and discrimination amongst healthcare providers on Doordarshan, local cable TV channels, All India Radio and FM radio networks.

Outdoor activities like hoardings, bus panels, pole kiosks, information panels, and panels in were implemented by the State AIDS Control Societies, condom social marketing organisations of NACO and under link worker’s scheme to disseminate information on HIV prevention and related services.


Adolesence Education Programme

This programme runs in secondary and senior secondary schools to build-up life skills of adolescents to cope with the physical and psychological changes associated with growing up. Under the programme, sixteen hour sessions are scheduled during the academic terms of classes IX and XI. SACS have further adapted the modules after State consultations with stakeholders, such as NGOs, academicians, psychologists and parent-teacher bodies. This programme is being implemented in 31 States and till date more than 50,000 Schools have been covered.

Red Ribbon Clubs

Red Ribbon Club (RRC) is a comprehensive promotional and preventive intervention to enhance voluntary blood donation as well as mainstream HIV & AIDS prevention, care & support and treatment impact, mitigation, stigma reduction, among the youth in educational institutions. It will also prepare and promote youth peer educators within and outside the campuses.

Red Ribbon Club formation in colleges and institutions is to encourage peer-to-peer messaging on HIV prevention and to provide a safe space for young people to seek clarifications of their doubts and on myths surrounding HIV/AIDS.


HIV/AIDS is not a mere health issue as its occurrence is influenced by a number of socio-economic elements. Health interventions alone, therefore, cannot lead to prevention. HIV prevention requires concerted collaborative efforts from all departments, institutions or organizations in public life through their work and programme. Addressing the various socio-economic factors the response to HIV needs to be multi-faceted and multi-sectorial.

The operational definition of mainstreaming used by NACO is the “Integrated, inclusive and multi-sectoral approach which 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 organizations”. The focus of all organizations in mainstreaming is to adapt their core business to respond to the challenges of HIV/AIDS.

Mainstreaming approach gained ground with the realization that the non-health sector can play an important and meaningful role in reducing vulnerability to HIV and mitigate impact of HIV on those infected and affected. It is important to note that mainstreaming does not replace the need for traditional approaches of prevention, care, support and treatment for People Living with HIV; it may instead complement and strengthen the same.

Involvement of various stakeholders and partnering with them (like Departments, institutions, civil society, elected representatives- Gram Sabha, religious and opinion leaders etc.) are crucial to spread awareness on HIV and AIDS, strengthen linkages with available services (ICTC, STI Clinic, ART Clinic etc.) to those who requires and reduce stigma and discrimination against PLHIV and also to reach out to maximum uncovered population by public health system.

Mainstreaming and Partnership with various stakeholders is important in view of

  • Strengthen multisectoral response through synergies and coordinated efforts across different players like department, public and private sectors, civil society, institutions and autonomous bodies, health and non-health sectors to optimize resource utilization and maximize impact.
  • Build capacities of key institutions at various levels to initiate activities on risk reduction, integration of HIV related services and social protection to mitigate the impact of HIV through improve the quality of lives of people infected and affected with HIV and most at risk population.
  • Creation of an enabling environment through policies, programmes and communication strategies.

Mainstreaming efforts intends

  •  Strengthen government’s response to HIV through integrating HIV in the ongoing activities of all its departments;
  •  Involvement of public and private sectors in HIV programme through workplace policy and workplace intervention on HIV;
  •  Involvement of Civil Society Organizations for greater coverage of HIV programme ensuring community ownership;
  • Capacity building of People living with HIV and facilitate access to social and legal protection through amendment of government schemes/ policies in the best interest of PLHIV.
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