Our News Bureau – Mumbai
Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) is reforming their Integrated Counseling and Testing Centres (ICTC) due to the technical and complicated name, which very few were aware of. They are creating ‘Shakti Clinic-HIV/AIDS Salah Kendra’ a strong identity, which the target group can identify with. 100 Shakti Clinic -HIV/Aids Salah Kendra are already operational from March 14, 2012 across Mumbai with a revamp look, feel, design and experience to remove the fear of testing amongst the transgender (TG) and increase the recognition, recall and response amongst all.
Integrated HIV counselling and testing is a very important tool both in prevention and control as well as in the early diagnosis of an individual and subsequent care and support. It is a fact that very few people who are living with HIV/AIDS are aware about their HIV status. The only means of knowing one’s HIV status is to undergo a blood test. The HIV counselling and testing have been implemented by MDACS in Mumbai through the ICTC for for more than a decade which has also resulted in an increase in the number of clients tested for HIV from 1,60,499 in 2008 to 2,25,275 in 2011. But the recent survey conducted by MDACS among the TG which included general population from slum and non slums, pregnant women from public and private sectors, bridge population like truckers and migrants and high risk groups like FSW & MSM revealed that 82 per cent of the sample size had heard about HIV/AIDS testing but more than 75 per cent of this 82 per cent were not aware of ICTC.
“The survey revealed that there was a low awareness of the ICTC centres due to technical and complicated name. It was also identified that there was lack of openness to the service due to fear and ignorance,” said Dr Harish Pathak, spokesperson, MDACS.
“Hence, we have decided to change the image of ICTC and create a brand with a name that the TG would be able to identify with that is neutral language and would be easy to remember, a reformed centre, which would induce behaviour change towards counselling and testing,” he further said.
‘Shakti Clinic’ the overhauled transition of ICTC’s was conceptualised with three major attributes in name — neutral language, powerful and simplicity. The brand logo was created keeping in mind that it should be religion neutral considering the cultural melting pot that Mumbai is. The international symbol, red ribbon of AIDS awareness, has been transformed to a red ribbon that curls up to a fist symbolising strength i.e. ‘Shakti’. The strength of accessibility of information and services in the name itself is a step forward in reducing the stigma and being approachable. Brand Shakti identity will be consistent across all 100 clinics with the reformed design, look, feel and experience radiating Shakti to all senses.
“The new identity builds an ambience of care, positivity, trust and friendliness making it easy to access information on HIV/AIDs and increase the number of patients undergoing tests. It will also encourage a behavioral change towards counselling and testing”, shared Dr Pathak.