Durex The Birds and Bees Talk Joins Hands with Sikkim State AIDs Control Society as the Health Partner for World AIDS Day 2023

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Business Wire India
Durex The Birds and Bees Talk (TBBT) programme by Reckitt, a global leader in consumer health, hygiene, and nutrition, assumed the role of Health Partner at the Sikkim World AIDS Day celebration. Aligned with World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2023 theme for World AIDS Day, ‘Let Communities Lead’, Durex TBBT collaborated with Sikkim State AIDs Control Society (SSACS) with the aim to reach students and teachers through experts to raise awareness about HIV/AIDs. The programme is being implemented by Plan India in six states of the Northeast, Delhi, and Gujarat. Through a series of events and activities on World AIDS Day, SSACS with National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), the Department of Health and Family Welfare and the Rainbow Hills Association of Sikkim (RHAS) is engaging local communities and youth across Sikkim.
 
As part of the celebrations, the SOFIYUM Music Festival by Gangtok’s very own Lepcha Folk-western Fusion Band SOFIYUM enthralled the audience with their soulful performance along with sensational hip hop artist and rapper Sudarshan Rai. Sudarshan Rai’s lyrics of the songs carry a deeper social message, focused on educating adolescents around the key pillars of Durex TBBT curriculum – consent, equity, inclusion, awareness and protection.
 
Shri Nell Bahadur Chettri, Mayor, Gangtok Municipal Corporation, called Durex TBBT, “A positive and fruitful programme for the youths to dwell deeper into causes like HIV/ AIDS and substance abuse.”
 
A spectacular Pride Walk Fashion Show featured the widely popular Queenandro and the dynamic duo of Xorem and Gracy. The community rejoiced at the chance to meet and greet the artists who walked the ramp in solidarity with those suffering from HIV AIDS. Furthermore, TBBT curriculum books and other reading materials were also showcased at the TBBT display corner for children across all age groups. The comprehensive curriculum is developed to inform students about the nuances of sexuality, life skills, sexual preferences and safer practices in order to leave no room for misinformation or doubt.
 
Ravi Bhatnagar, Director, External Affairs & Partnerships, SOA, Reckitt, said, “As we celebrate World AIDS Day, we stand in solidarity with the youth, who are the changemakers and opinion leaders of tomorrow. Durex TBBT aims to raise awareness about the challenges faced by those suffering from HIV AIDS, along with the necessary awareness about the condition and how to prevent its spread, and we are honored to serve as the health partner to the World AIDS Day event in Sikkim. Community sensitization is critical due to the high prevalence of HIV AIDS in Sikkim, and together we have to ensure patients are effectively attended to and work towards eradicating the disease. Our interventions in the state are focused on motivating young minds to embrace life skills with the right knowledge as we build a progressive and healthier tomorrow.
 
Mrs. Deki Wangmoo Phempu, Project Director, Sikkim AIDS Control Society (SSACS), Department of Health and Family Welfare, said, “Grateful to The Birds and Bees Talk Program which is a very good initiative in terms of making adolescents strong advocates of comprehensive reproductive health and adopting life skills. Look forward to a fruitful collaboration in future as well.”
 
Durex The Birds and Bees Talk Programme is an innovative and pioneering initiative that has focused on inculcating growing up life skills for adolescents in the north-eastern region of India. Through its systematic intervention, the programme is encouraging conversations around sexual and reproductive health among adolescents, teachers, and their community members. Adolescent girls and boys in the country lack access to information on issues affecting their lives and have limited spaces to develop competencies crucial for their active participation. TBBT programme is addressing these challenges by imparting critical and age-appropriate information, promoting healthy and safe behavior and practices, as well as equipping adolescents with life skills, values and attitudes to become responsible adults.