Tourist guides & taximen to create AIDS awareness

PTI, PANAJI | 03 August 2011 18:21 IST

In a bid to make the tourists visiting Goa aware about the dangers of AIDS, the state government has started training the tourist guides as well as taxi drivers, who can establish a direct communication with them.

State-promoted Goa State AIDS Control Society (GSACS) has been holding series of lectures for the tourist guides on AIDS across the state.

Director of Tourism in Goa Swapnil Naik said that the guides are an important component of the tourism trade as they are directly linked to the tourists.

"This is also a part of safe and honourable tourism code adopted by Union Tourism Ministry across the country," Naik said.

He added that making Goa a pleasurable and safe experience is the duty of the government.

Naik said that the other stakeholders like tourist taxi drivers are also being made aware about AIDS by GSACS through workshops.

Goa, which is fighting back its image as a sex-tourism spot reported first case of AIDS in the year 1987.

From that time till June 2011, the state reported 13,806 cases of AIDS. As per the GSACS statistics, AIDS is more prevalent in the coastal talukas of the state, which are considered as tourist hotspots.

They attribute for almost 60 per cent of the total AIDS cases.

The taluka of Salcette has highest 17.1 per cent cases followed by Mormugao with 16.5 per cent. Bardez has 15.5 per cent and Tiswadi has 11.5 per cent of AIDS patients.

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