KARNATAKA

Youth told to guard against AIDS

MADIKERI, AUG. 14. Several speakers at the launch of the "Universities Talk Aids" (UTA) programme at Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa College here on Saturday stressed the need to spread awareness about AIDS among people.

Under the UTA, students selected from 42 colleges affiliated to Mangalore University in Kodagu, Udupi, and Dakshina Kannada districts will be trained in spreading awareness about AIDS. They, in turn, will disseminate information about AIDS among the people.

Inaugurating the programme, K.G. Bopaiah, MLA, expressed concern over the increasing number of AIDS cases in the country. What was confined to the West in the Eighties had reared its ugly head in the country, he said.

Joint families

Noting that no section of society was protected against AIDS, Mr. Bopaiah said Kodagu had a rich tradition of joint families, which had helped to some extent to keep the disease at bay.

The increasing incidence of AIDS in the 17 to 30 years category was very disheartening, he said. Delivering the keynote address, Satyanarayana, Professor, Basudeva Somani College, Mysore, stressed the need to spread awareness about AIDS among the youth as they were increasingly becoming vulnerable to the disease.

Prof. Satyanarayana said only 10 per cent of the youth in the country got the opportunity to study in colleges.

They could be trained in spreading awareness about AIDS among the others to check the spread of the disease, he added.

The UTA was started in 1991 but stopped later. The second phase of the programme had begun now, he said.

Warning

H.S. Suresh, advisor to the NSS Regional Centre, Bangalore, said the World Health Organisation had warned as early as in 1989 about the impact that AIDS could have on the world.

Mangalore University had earmarked Rs. 6.25 lakhs for the UTA. Skits, street plays, and elocution, essay and poster-making contests would be held under the programme.

A questionnaire would be provided to students to find out their understanding of the disease, Dr. Suresh said.

Pushpa Kuttanna, principal of the college, who presided over the function, called upon the students to protect themselves against the dreaded disease. Aids had become a social problem, she said.

Various resource persons will deliver lectures on different aspects of AIDS in the two-day programme. Ganapathi Gowda, NSS nodal officer, welcomed the gathering. K.M. Poonacha, NSS programme officer, proposed a vote of thanks.

Increasing AIDS/HIV cases, a cause for concern — Page 5

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