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Let’s bring Odisha to the forefront of the global fight against HIV.” - Chief Minister Patnaik. In a formal endorsement of the Odia version of the TeachAIDS HIV education materials, The Honorable Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik, has kindly recorded a Message of Hope to be integrated into the Odia software. TeachAIDS, in collaboration with Chief Minister Patnaik and the Odisha State Government, first launched the Odia version of the TeachAIDS materials as part of their Odisha State AIDS Control Society (OSACS) curriculum for distribution across the populations of Odisha in 2014. While less than 1% of the adult population in Odisha is HIV positive, HIV rates are on the rise. As a result, Chief Minister Patnaik has approached this topic with extreme care and urgency. “Odisha is one of the states in India that is known as a ‘hot zone’ for this disease. Unfortunately, due to the stigma attached, infected persons are not reaching out for basic help. Therefore, we must come together as a state to educate people about AIDS,” Chief Minister Patnaik urges. Chief Minister Patnaik is widely respected around the world, having gained widespread acclaim as a politician for his pristine image, stance against corruption, and ‘pro-poor’ policies. Hailed as a natural, compassionate and strong leader, Chief Minister Patnaik has been commitment to solving the problems of his people and state since he began his political career in 1996. Throughout his illustrious political career, Chief Minister Patnaik has served as a two-term elected Member of the Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Indian Parliament), member of the Consultative Committee of Ministry of Steel & Mines, Member of Standing Committee on Commerce, and Member Library Committee of Parliament.  In 2000 Patnaik became Chief Minister of the Odisha, a position in which he is currently serving his fourth consecutive term. In addition to his political duties, Chief Minister Patnaik is a patron of the arts and a founding member of the Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage. Chief Minister Patnaik’s involvement with TeachAIDS is a manifestation of his dedication to the education, health and well-being of the people of Odisha. In his Message of Hope, he notes that, “proper education is the only way to conquer the fear and stigma associated with HIV.  As the TeachAIDS animation says, “Let's work together to spread the message on HIV prevention!”” We sincerely thank Chief Minister Patnaik and his administration for their generous support in the development and distribution of TeachAIDS materials. We commend his administration and the State of Odisha on pairing their multi-tier HIV and AIDS strategy with TeachAIDS software in order to educate citizens and reduce the prevalence rates.
Dr. Tsetan Dorji Sadutshang joins TeachAIDS as the sage doctor in the Tibetan animation
“My message to, especially the young people who watch this animation, would be that HIV and AIDS is all about human behavior and attitude. It’s about a universal responsibility that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has always been talking about and that’s just not about taking care of only yourself, but taking care of everyone else around you, including all living beings, your environment and the entire universe. Be kind to others and help anyone you can.” - Dr. Tsetan Dorji Sadutshang.

TeachAIDS is honored to welcome Dr. Tsetan Dorji Sadutshang, Personal Physician to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Chief Medical Officer of the prestigious Delek Hospital in Dharamsala, India. Born in Tibet and raised in India, Dr. Tsetan is a highly respected physician, beloved by Tibetans both inside and outside of Tibet.

Having served as the Personal Physician to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama since 1988, Dr. Tsetan has become central to the spiritual lives of Tibetans. In addition, his commitment to providing the highest quality medical care to Tibetans in exile in India at the Delek Hospital has placed him at the forefront of protecting and promoting the health of this vulnerable population.

Known for his expertise in both Western medicine and traditional medicine and for his practice of integrating these disciplines to offer holistic care, Dr. Tsetan is a founding member of the Tibetan Allopathic Physician Network (TAPN) and a founding board member of the Central Council of Traditional Medicine.

After obtaining medical degrees at the universities of Chennai and Wales, Dr. Tsetan received a Fulbright Scholarship for a Master of Public Health at Harvard University.  He has an academic interest in infectious diseases and mental health, and has authored several books and scientific articles ontuberculosis and Tibetan torture survivors.

In addition to his distinguished medical career, Dr. Tsetan serves as a board member of the Tibet Charity, which strives to support the every-day needs of marginalized segments of the Tibetan community in exile. In 2005, he was recognized for his charitable efforts with the Unsung Hero of Compassion Award from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in San Francisco.

Dr. Tsetan has kindly expressed effusive enthusiasm about being involved with this project, noting that “it has been a tremendous experience for me to be able to be part of this venture and I feel privileged and honored to be chosen to be the person who is actually speaking in this animation.”  He added that he sees HIV education as “a very, very important issue to address for this world” to which he was glad to “give my heart and soul”.

Among Tibetans around the world, Dr. Tsetan’s name is synonymous with heartfelt feelings of respect and trust. Alongside Phurbu T. Namgyal, who is playing the student character in the animated software, Dr. Tsetan will play the role of the erudite doctor to educate about HIV prevention. TeachAIDS warmly welcomes Dr. Tsetan to our team and is tremendously grateful for the gracious support he has extended to the Tibetan animations.

Dr. Tsetan Dorji Sadutshang has joined TeachAIDS as the sage doctor in the Tibetan animation

Phurbu T. Namgyal joins TeachAIDS as the inquisitive student character in the Tibetan language version

TeachAIDS is delighted to announce that singer/songwriter Phurbu T. Namgyal has generously donated his voice and likeness to the forthcoming Tibetan language version of the TeachAIDS HIV animations. Namgyal will play the inquisitive student who learns how to protect himself and his loved ones from HIV.

A self-taught singer and songwriter, Namgyal has been called the voice of Tibetan contemporary music since his debut album Shambala in 1994. Namgyal is a talented and prolific composer, having written over 100 songs for his 11 musical albums and collaborated with musicians in Tibet, India, the USA and Bhutan.  He has been the recipient of several prestigious Tibetan Music Awards, including Best Tibetan Music Album of the Year for With You in 2005 and Chak sum tsel in 2007.

Namgyal connects daily with Tibetans all over the world through his music, and has regularly donated his time and energy to important Tibetan social causes.  He was an Executive Board Member of the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota from 1998 to 2000 and is the Founder of, a website devoted to sharing Tibetan language, arts and culture with children worldwide. In 2013, he founded The Om Charity, which provides free medical support and health insurance premiums for impoverished Tibetans in India.

Namgyal notes that over recent months, he frequently heard “disturbing news about the spread of HIV in urban and rural Tibetan areas”.  Eager to use his celebrity to educate Tibetans around the world on how to prevent the spread of this infectious virus and recognising a “need for social leaders to propel efforts to protect Tibetans from HIV”, Namgyal teamed up with TeachAIDS.  He believes that “these education materials will be extremely beneficial for my people, especially those inside Tibet”. He adds, “I am so happy to be a part of it!”.

TeachAIDS welcomes Namgyal to our list of international cultural icons. It is a privilege to work with such an inspirational talent and a pillar of the international Tibetan community.

Phurbu T. Namgyal joins TeachAIDS as the inquisitive student character in the Tibetan language version

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Beloved Chief Minister of Assam, Mr. Tarun Gogoi, has graciously recorded a Message of Hope to be integrated into the Assamese TeachAIDS software. The video version of the Assamese animations were released on local television last year and the interactive software versions will soon be widely distributed by the Assamese State AIDS Control Society throughout the region. In the video, recorded at his residence in Guwahati, Chief Minister Gogoi expressed hope for the future of HIV prevention in Assam and urged his people to educate themselves about the condition.

“I firmly believe that proper education and awareness are the only way to conquer the fear and stigma associated with HIV,” Chief Minister Gogoi asserts.

Hailed as a leader truly compassionate about the well-being of his people, Gogoi has served as Chief Minister of Assam since 2001. During this time, he has placed a strong emphasis on income, health and education, overseeing a quadrupling of per capita income, a 38% reduction in the maternal mortality rate and a 28% reduction in the infant mortality rate. Under Chief Minister Gogoi’s leadership, Assam has emerged from one of the darkest periods in its history to one of stability, peace and prosperity.

In 1968 Gogoi commenced an active political career, during which he served six terms in Parliament and four terms as a Member of Legislative Assembly in Assam. He has also served in the Union Cabinet of India and the All India Congress Committee.

While working alongside Chief Minister Gogoi towards the development of the TeachAIDS materials, his strong personal commitment to education and preventative healthcare practices was overwhelmingly evident. “It is important for all of us to learn that while there is no cure for AIDS, it is completely preventable and with proper education it can be controlled effectively,” Chief Minister Gogoi said.

We wholeheartedly thank Chief Minister Gogoi and his administration for their unwavering kindness in their partnership to support the development and distribution the TeachAIDS materials. Under his guidance and leadership, his administration will ensure that the localized prevention education reach as many Assamese speaking people globally as possible. As Chief Minister Gogoi notes in his Message of Hope, with commitment from all levels of government and strong partnerships, Assam “can be at the forefront of India and the world in deepening our understanding and knowledge around the most critical health topics”.

Video: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi delivers a "Message of Hope" to the people of Assam

Click here to view the Assamese video version of the “Message of Hope”.


“On behalf of the Department of Health, Central Tibetan Administration, I am writing to you to express serious concern about the vulnerability of HIV/AIDS among the Tibetan people… like in many conservative cultures around the world, [the Tibetan community] faces difficulties to openly discuss about this condition due to cultural stigmas and sensitivities as well as a serious lack of comprehensive education on the subject” -- The Honorable  Dr. Tsering Wangchuk, Tibetan Health Minister.

Late last month, Dr. Tsering Wangchuk, Minister of Health of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) invited TeachAIDS to Dharamsala to discuss the challenges around providing HIV education to Tibetan communities around the world. The seat of the CTA, Dharamsala is nestled in a valley of forested hills and the picturesque Bhagsu Waterfall in Northern India. Dharamsala is home to many of the most esteemed meditation and healing centers in the world and is known for its serene community.

Accepting this kind invitation, TeachAIDS Founder and CEO Dr. Piya Sorcar visited Dharamsala to formalize a partnership with the Ministry of Health of the CTA in a groundbreaking effort to create a localized Tibetan language version of the TeachAIDS HIV education software.

This partnership was initiated when Dr. Wangchuk approached TeachAIDS to express grave concern that Tibetan communities are at risk of becoming a “hotspot” for HIV, given a stark lack of culturally appropriate education materials on this topic. These fears are manifest in the CTA’s data, which demonstrates a 17-fold rise in new HIV cases reported in Tibet between 2008 and 2013.

“We are humbled by your warm and generous welcome and would be immensely pleased to collaborate to develop a Tibetan version of our software” -- Dr. Piya Sorcar, Founder & CEO, TeachAIDS.

To symbolize the importance of youth empowerment in the fight against HIV, the formal announcement of the development of a Tibetan language version of the TeachAIDS materials was made at the at the prestigious Sherab Gatsel Lobling School for young Tibetan men and women by Dr. Sorcar, alongside Dr. Wangchuk and Dr. Lobsang Tsering, Head of Public Health Division.

The TeachAIDS team also visited the Mewoen Tsuglag Petoen Model School for secondary students. At both schools, students were jubilant to hear that a Tibetan language version of this software is under development. They fervently proffered their options as to which Tibetan cultural icons they would like to see represented in the Tibetan version and shared many ideas on the localization of the materials.

TeachAIDS looks forward to making free, culturally tailored, HIV-prevention education available to the Tibetan community around the world. We are are humbled to have the opportunity to work with the Tibetan population and we thank Dr. Wangchuk and his team for their tireless efforts to ensure that these materials will be made available free of cost to all those who need them most.

Photo: Tibetan students in Dharamsala participate in a discussion on the importance of HIV prevention