Indian Community Welfare Organisation (ICWO), Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS), ---- (REACH), and Rotary International District 3230, organised an awareness campaign, ‘Getting to Zero,’ at Egmore recently.

The programme was inaugurated by Kumar Jayant, Project Director, TANSACS, and released a poster ‘Zeroing New HIV/AIDS in India.’ In his address, he said that Tamil Nadu is in the forefront in fighting against the disease. He explained the theme of the campaign, ‘Getting to Zero,’ which means zeroing on cases of new HIV infection, zeroing on AIDS-related deaths, zeroing on issues of stigmatisation, and zeroing on cases of HIV-tuberculosis co-infection. He said that the need of the hour is a multi-sector partnership in achieving the goal of getting to zero. Venkatakrishnan, Chairman, Rotary International District 3230, said that Rotary Clubs have a long-term commitment in educating the public on HIV/AIDS and various programmes have been initiated in this regard.

 Speaking on the occasion, A.J. Hariharan, Secretary, ICWO, said accomplishing the target is not an easy task and it requires commitment from different stakeholders. He said that at present the emphasis should be on preventive measures.

Concerted efforts has to be taken to curb issues pertaining to stigmatisation, discrimination, and human rights violation meted out to people living with HIV, said Mariaselvam, Regional Manager, Action Air India. It is also important to create a conducive atmosphere to such people to lead a life with dignity. J. Lavanya, District Tuberculosis Officer, DTO TB, and R.P. Darrmalingam, Managing Director, Jublilee Plot and Housing, spoke on the occasion.

As many as 500 students from Mar Gregorios College of Arts and Science, Stella Maris College, Mohamed Sathak College of Arts and Science, Kandaswamy Naidu College and Loyola College took part in the campaign.

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