25/09/2017 12:08 PM IST | Updated 25/09/2017 12:08 PM IST

Govt-Aided Awareness Campaign In Punjab Says AIDS Spreads Through Handshake

*Slow clap*

Rupak De Chowdhuri / Reuters
Children display ribbon cut-outs tied to balloons during an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign to mark World AIDS Day in Kolkata.

For years now, the government has created campaigns to bust the misconceptions around AIDS. One of the clips that played on Doordarshan while growing up as child was a small film clip issued by the government, in which Shabana Azmi hugs an HIV positive child and says, "She does not need your rejection, she needs your love". It was one of those ad campaign that stayed with us. We now knew that ostracizing an HIV positive person is just not alright.

That was in the 90s.

Two decades later, the Punjab State Aids Control Society (PSACS) have published a pamphlet, apparently with an intention of providing awareness on AIDS. But it gets everything wrong.

A report in India Today notes the details of the pamphlet that's written in Punjabi. According to PSACS, AIDS can be transmitted by shaking hands with an infected person, using utensils used by an AIDS infected person, sharing things like mobile phones, computers used by an infected person and uing toilets used by an infected person can infect you with AIDS.

We don't know who decided to write these, but PSACS is clearly doing a great disservice to the people. PSACS was registered in 1998 for implementing National AIDS Control Programme (NACP).

Punjab is among the "highly vulnerable" states in India, especially in terms of having the highest HIV-infected intravenous drug users (IDUs) in the country. The total number of HIV positive cases in Punjab was almost 49,000 in 2015, with Amritsar topping the chart, notes this Hindustan Times report.

Here's a detailed understanding on the transmission of AIDS.

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