Rope in NGOs to spread AIDS awareness, says official

Staff Correspondent

BELLARY: Bellary Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer G.S. Shivaswamy on Thursday said non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can play a pivotal role in creating awareness among people about HIV/AIDS.

Speaking after inaugurating a function organised to mark World AIDS Day here, Mr. Shivaswamy underlined the need for an integrated approach to prevent the spread of AIDS. Unprotected sex, a migratory population and the Devadasi system are among the major reasons for the high incidence of the disease in the district, he said.

Khaja Naseeruddin, Director of the Vijayanagar Institute of Medical Science (VIMS), called upon people to join hands with those who are trying to create awareness about the disease.

He noted that an anti-retroviral treatment centre is functioning in VIMS where tests are conducted and treatment is made available to HIV-positive cases.

District Health Officer Pompapathi, IMA President Devanand, Nityajeevan Sangha chairman Kumar and District Information Officer Chandrakant participated as chief guests.

Jayakumar, coordinator of the District AIDS Prevention Society, spoke about the disease, its prevention and treatment available to those who have contracted the infection.

Prizes were given away to winners of various competitions on the occasion.

Nijamuddin, District TB Control Officer, welcomed the gathering.

Earlier, Deputy Commissioner and Chairman of the Bellary AIDS Prevention Society Arvind Srivastav flagged off a jatha to create awareness among people about AIDS with the slogan "Be committed to prevent AIDS."

Those with HIV, students of various schools and colleges and representatives of voluntary organisations participated in the procession, which went through the main thoroughfares of the city.