Awareness rally taken out, exhibition held to mark World AIDS Day

On the World AIDS Day, which was observed on Saturday, the State had something to cheer about. The incidence of HIV / AIDS has registered sharp fall in the State, claim authorities.

There are about five lakh HIV /AIDS infected persons in the State. However, the percentage of incidence is coming down steadily. In 2005 the percentage of HIV/ AIDS in the State was about 2.4 per cent and in 2010 it came down to 0.77 per cent, claimed C. Partha Sarathi, Project Director of A.P. State AIDS Control Society.

The drop in percentage was due to different preventive measures taken up by the State government. Since last couple of years, it was made mandatory for all pregnant women to undergo free HIV/ AIDS and blood test at Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres across the State, he said.

In connection with the World AIDS Day, authorities organised a rally from Baghlingampally to N.T.R stadium where a special awareness programme was conducted.

Members from different voluntary organisations, non-governmental organisations and others participated. Health Minister D.L. Ravindra Reddy was chief guest for the programme. A two-minute silence was observed as a mark to pay tributes to the former Prime Minister, I.K. Gujral, who passed away on Friday.

Addressing a meeting, Mr. Reddy said the government was committed in eradicating HIV/AIDS in the State. When compared to other States, though the number of HIV cases was higher in the State, over the years, it is sliding considerably, he said.

He said National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) had selected Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to implement its new triple drug therapy against the earlier single dose therapy. The objective was to ensure zero transmission of infection from mother to child, he added.

Further, NACO would commence its annual sentinel survey next month in the State to ascertain the number of HIV/ AIDS cases. NACO would be establishing its sentinel centres across the State. Modalities on the quantum of sample to be collected and areas were under way, said Mr. Partha Sarathi.

Meanwhile, the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) organised an HIV/ AIDS awareness programme at Cantonment playground in Bowenpally in connection with World AIDS Day. A photo exhibition was also conducted to create awareness among people and a few army authorities too participated in the programme, said SCB member.

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