A programme to create awareness on preventing deadly HIV among workers and truck drivers was held at ACC Ltd., Kudithini Cement Works, in association with the Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society (KSAPS) at its plant in Kudithini on Wednesday.

Addressing the gathering, after inaugurating the programme, M. Sairamesh, director, said that prevention was the best medicine as far as HIV and AIDS were concerned. At present approximately 3.5. crore people in the world suffer from this condition. In India alone the victims number 50 lakh.

“In the absence of any cure or vaccination, preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS is very important. It is a silent killer. My appeal to everyone is to make use of this opportunity and strive hard to arrest the spread of HIV/AIDS as a duty and responsibility,” he said.

Girish, District Supervisor, District AIDS Preventive Control Unit Bellary, elaborated on the condition, illustrating his point with case studies. In Bellary, he said, there were 17,000 people living with HIV. Bellary ranks seventh in the State in this respect.

He spoke about the efforts being made to bring down the number by creating awareness among people by organising meetings, symposia and the like at various public places and institutions, along with providing counselling at Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres.