Navigation Links
SMS Help-line to Provide Answers for HIV/AIDS Queries

A newly devised SMS help-line in this megalopolis is becoming hugely popular with those grappling with the stigma of HIV/AIDS, having received// over 25,000 texts since its launch last month.

A national initiative of the NGO Heroes Project founded by Hollywood icon Richard Gere and Mumbai socialite Parmeshwar Godrej, the help-line offers specific advice on HIV/AIDS by a panel of qualified counsellors while ensuring privacy.

It works on the Specific Query Response (SQR) system. It urges people to seek specific information about HIV/AIDS by simply sending an SMS "ASK" to 7827.

"We understand that people are yet not comfortable to make a call on a phone help-line or may have some kind of a mental block to talking directly to a counsellor on information on HIV/AIDS," said Heroes Project executive director Kanika Singh.

"People seeking information need a reliable source, particularly for first-level information. And this tech-friendly help-line is a welcome entrant into a society still grappling with the stigma of the dreaded virus," Singh told IANS.

The response has been a whopping 25,000 SMSs since its launch in February.

That is hardly surprising, given that India is home to an estimated 5.2 million HIV/AIDS patients, officially second only to South Africa, though unofficially it is said to have the highest incidence of the disease in the world.

A medical counselor with the Heroes Project said: "Such a help-line is convenient for those who have mobile phones."

The SMS can be sent through any mobile telephony provider and also through websites that have the SMS facility.

Elaborating on SQR technology, Singh said: "It is an anonymous interface, a counsellor who mans the help-line round-the-clock sends a tailor-made reply to each user's SMS query within 24 hours, no matter how personal or complex the questions are.

"The SMS help-line is a great ignoranc e buster and is targeted at the urban and semi-urban youngsters who shy away from seeking help. The help-line will initially run for a three-month trial period till April, and depending on the response we receive we may go into the second-level of a multi-pronged strategy for fighting HIV/AIDS."

Experts feel that the face of HIV/AIDS interventions needs to be changed through innovation.

"Such technological innovations will definitely help build a multi-pronged strategy for fighting HIV/AIDS. It will certainly help de-stigmatise the disease over time," said Vimla Nadkarni, dean of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences' school of social work.

But Singh admits that there is a downside to the initiative.

"There are many users who have inhibitions about their mobile numbers being flashed at the counsellors' end. We would therefore appreciate that the various mobile companies orchestrate the help-line as their corporate social responsibility and see if they can mask the caller's ID."

The SMS help-line is part of the Heroes Project, founded by Gere and Godrej in 2004, seeking to prevent an HIV/AIDS epidemic by educating the public and reducing stigma and discrimination through a mass media campaign and societal programmes.


Related medicine news :

1. Drug Spironolactone Provides Renal And Cardioprotection In Diabetic Patients
2. Neurobiology Provides Answers To Block Memory-Related Drug Cravings
3. Reliance Infocomm Tied With Apollo To Provide Telemedicine Services
4. Leeches Provide Clues Regarding The Prevention Of Heart Disease
5. Apollo Hospitals Short-listed to Provide Diagnostics in the UK
6. Reindeer Provide Valuable Insights Into Sleep Disorders
7. London Hospital Provides Specialized Care For Pregnant Women
8. CNIC To Provide Funds To Mount Sinai School
9. Clean Blades To Be Provided To Self-Harmers
10. Breastfeeding Provides Added Protection To Babies
11. Court Orders Private Hospitals To Provide Free Treatment For The Poor
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader ... been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). ... the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), an industry leader ... range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual American Healthcare Association ... held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... The company has developed a suite ... regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults 50+, every formula has been developed ... , These products are also: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, Soy Free, Non-Dairy*, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in southern ... home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to create ... health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight years. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... HMP , a leader in healthcare events and education, today announced that ... for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced during the Eddie & Ozzie Awards ... recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range of sectors. This year’s program included ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/18/2017)... , Pa. and KALAMAZOO, Mich. , Sept. ... Penn. , and OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of ... partnership to offer a strategic hub service that expedites ... highly sought-after personal spirometer, Spiro PD 2.0, and wellness ... A spirometer is a medical device used to measure ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... 12, 2017   EcoVadis , the leading platform for environmental, social ... annual edition of its Global CSR Risk and Performance Index. The report ... based on Scorecard Ratings that analyzed nearly 800,000 data points across the ... ... ...
(Date:9/9/2017)... ... DC ... th – Monday, September 18 th .The Brain Tumor Foundation (BTF) ... to the public.Where:  BTF,s Mobile MRI Unit – ... NW, Washington, D.C.What:BTF brings its nationwide initiative, the Road to Early Detection ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: