NATIONAL

Elected representatives of Northeast sign AIDS declaration

Sushanta Talukdar

Guwahati: Elected representatives of the Northeast on Saturday signed a "Guwahati declaration" resolving to draft legislation guaranteeing universal access to treatment of AIDS and ensure that people infected or affected by the epidemic are not subject to discrimination.

The declaration was signed here at the "Northeast Convention of Elected Representatives" organised by the Parliamentarians Forum on HIV/AIDS. The Chief Ministers of Assam, Meghalaya and Sikkim were present.

The declaration called for creating a standing committee of the legislative houses of the region to be chaired by the Chief Minister to review and monitor the State's response to the epidemic.

Project Director of the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) S.Y. Qureishi said alarm bells have been sounded in the Northeast as three States — Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram — are in the high prevalence category.