Staff Correspondent

‘Candlelight Memorial Day’ observed in Belgaum

Procession taken out in the city

Belgaum: Members of various non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations and officials of the Health Department joined hands with Spandana, a network of people living with HIV, to pay homage to those who lost their lives to HIV and AIDS by observing “International Candlelight Memorial Day” here on Saturday evening.

Flagging off a candlelight procession, Spandana president Mahantesh Mali expressed his gratitude to those who gave him moral support to lead a happy life despite being infected by HIV.

In his appeal to the people, he pleaded against discriminating those living with HIV/AIDS. Ravi Basaralli, Joint Secretary of the zilla panchayat, said information and knowledge of HIV and AIDS played an important role in the treatment of the disease.

District Surgeon Ashok M. Murgod said efforts were on to find a vaccine for prevention of HIV. Spandana counsel Nagarathna said that social stigma and discrimination killed more people than AIDS. However, the situation was changing as HIV infected people were being accepted by general public. She said HIV positive people lose immunity and were prone to diseases such as TB, diarrhoea, etc. Providing medicines for such people should be the priority of government hospitals.