As the World AIDS Day was observed across the world on Tuesday, the occasion was marked with an outreach programme in remote Manipur region.

In an innovative effort, the day was observed in west district – Tamenglong town – with a programme aimed at reaching out to IV drug users.

According to reports, IV drug abuse is common in Manipur and HIV/AIDS spread in the Northeastern states is mostly through IV drug injection.

Marking the day, an OST (Opiod Substitution Therapy) complex at the district hospital was inaugurated by Dr. Chambo Gonmei, CMO, Tamenglong Hospital. The hospital also has anti retroviral therapy (ART). HIV/AIDS patients on ART in the district are 88 and pre-ART 12. Free baseline investigation for HIV positive patients on ART is also available at the district hospital.

OST, which gives a medical helping hand, is said to have proved effective in checking injecting drug use behaviours.

OST relies on medication like methadone or Suboxone to alleviate the painful and debilitating symptoms of withdrawal. It keeps withdrawal symptoms at bay by tricking the body into thinking it is still receiving heroin.