With ‘getting to zero’ as the World AIDS Day theme observed until 2015, the silence of the Sunday morning was broken at VUDA office as hundreds of volunteers took out a rally to spread awareness on control of AIDS.

The rally, organised by District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit, was flagged off by Additional Joint Collector Y. Narasimha Rao, District Medical and Health Officer R. Shyamala, District TB Control Officer N. Vasundhara and GVMC’s senior medical officer Srinivas, among others. Several students from nursing colleges, representatives of Visakhapatnam AIDS Control Society, Visakhapatnam Lorry Operators Welfare Association besides GVMC staff members passed through Siripuram junction shouting slogans and displaying placards.

The invitees, who gathered at B.R. Ambedkar Auditorium in Andhra University College of Engineering (Autonomous), where the rally concluded, stressed the importance of creating awareness on the ill-effects of indulging in unsafe sex. The hall was filled with NSS volunteers, NCC cadets, NGO representatives and government officials .

AIDS has become the most dreadful disease due to the social stigma associated with it rather than the disease itself, Y. Narasimha Rao said.

Addressing the people who assembled at the venue, he said the need to eliminate the social stigma attached to the disease has to be advocated more effectively.

DMHO R. Shyamala requested the youngsters to be responsible for their actions. “When you want to reach out to the rural community, communication takes a different format. Constant effort is required to create awareness among people through ‘kala-jathas’, skits and seminars,” Dr. Vasundhara said.

NCC cadets of Mrs. A.V.N. College too, organised a rally . It was flagged off by principal of the college Vedula Perraju at Apollo Hospitals. He said that rallies such as this will help increase the awareness level among people. Around 70 cadets participated in the rally which was led by NCC Officer Captain N. Rama Krishna. 198 Bn CRPF

The 198 Battalion of CRPF and CRPF Wives’ Welfare Association organised a workshop on HIV and AIDS for the family members and troopers of 198 Battalion deployed in the Agency area.

District Programme Manager K.V.R Sailaja along with the team members of District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit delivered lecture on the theme. Commandant Nisheet Kumar and his wife Babita Singh inaugurated the workshop.

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