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Campaign against AIDS launched

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CALL TO YOUTH: Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat launching a campaign against AIDS in New Delhi on Tuesday. He is flanked by Union Ministers Mani Shankar Aiyar (right) and Oscar Fernandes.
CALL TO YOUTH: Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat launching a campaign against AIDS in New Delhi on Tuesday. He is flanked by Union Ministers Mani Shankar Aiyar (right) and Oscar Fernandes.

Special Correspondent

Shekhawat calls for "out-of-the-box thinking" to evolve innovative measures

YUVA will reach out to young people across nationIt will ensure access to prevention servicesPay special attention to BPL group: Vice-President

NEW DELHI: "Youth take charge!" This was the clarion call given by the Government as Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat launched YUVA (Youth Unite for Victory on AIDS) here on Tuesday. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has been the "most serious public health problem faced by the country since independence."

A joint endeavour by the National AIDS Control Organisation and the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, YUVA is a five-year plan and action agenda aimed at reaching out to adolescents and youth across the country to ensure that by 2010 all young people have accurate information, skills and access to HIV prevention services and facilities in a conducive, safe and supportive environment.

In his inaugural address, the Vice-President said the speed with which HIV/AIDS assumed epidemic proportions should wake up policy planners and public health administrators to do some `out-of-the-box' thinking to evolve innovative and effective measures to control its spread.

Calling for mission-mode effort to generate awareness of HIV/AIDS as prevention is key to dealing with the epidemic, Mr. Shekhawat said special attention should be paid to the 26 crore people living below the poverty line. As they suffered from deprivation, disease and illiteracy, they could be the soft targets of infection for, nutritional deficiencies hastened the onset of AIDS and its progression.

Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Mani Shankar Aiyar said greater awareness of the disease could be generated through a frank and debate.

The YUVA campaign will be conducted by eight youth organisations having a collective membership of over 2.2 crore.


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