In a bid to target vulnerable groups in coastal cities, the department of AIDS control has teamed up with the shipping ministry to provide treatment, support and preventive care to port workers as well as fishermen, seafarers, truckers and single male migrants. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the department in the health and family welfare ministry and the ministry of shipping. According to the MoU, the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) will provide HIV/AIDS/STI preventive, care support and treatment services to port workers as well as the community around major ports including fishermen, seafarers, truckers, single male migrants and other vulnerable population.
It also aims to provide stigma free environment and promote greater involvement of people living with HIV in all major port areas, a senior health ministry official said on Sunday. The MoU also aims at promoting safe sexual practices among vulnerable population in ports. The health ministry official said NACO will commit itself to share nationally approved treatment protocols, guidelines and standards pertaining to the diseases.