TAMIL NADU

YSR anguished at State's dubious distinction

Special Correspondent

TIRUPATI: Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has on Thursday expressed his deep anguish over the State enjoying the dubious distinction of being No. 2 in the country and Prakasam district occupying the top-slot in the State vis a vis the presence of AIDS-inflicted persons.

Dr. Reddy listed in this connection the measures being taken by his Government to tackle the problem comprehensively to check it from assuming more serious dimensions in future. He cited in this connection as to how the Government roped in leading film stars to feature in

anti-AIDS documentaries so as to catch the mood of the common people and the vulnerable sections. Among the other participants were the District Minister, N. Raghuveera Reddy, district Collector, S.S. Rawat, district MLAs-- G. Muddukrishnama Naidu, G. Arunakumari, G. Kuthuhalamma, R. Chenga Reddy, P. Ramachandra Reddy, M. Venkatramana, K. Prabhakar Reddy, Narayanaswamy besides the ZP Chairperson, M. Reddemma.

KADAPA: Youth are falling prey to the dreaded AIDS due to lack of comprehension and one and all should strive to prevent spread of the disease, Collector G. Asok Kumar said on Thursday.

Addressing members of Rajiv Yuva Shakti, self-help groups, students and people who took out a rally at Chinnamandem mandal headquarters in Rayachoti constituency on World AIDS Day, Mr. Kumar said leading systematic lives would go a long way in checking spread of AIDS.

Prevention was better than cure and efforts were on to enlighten the rural folk on AIDS prevention measures, he said.

Balika sanghams were set up under Regional Network Against Immoral Trafficking of Women and sex workers were being liberated and rehabilitated, the Collector asserted.

AIDS has come down from 0.75 per cent to 0.25 per cent due to efforts of doctors and some voluntary organisations, he said.

AIDS was a health as well as a social problem, Nodal Officer for AIDS Prevention Subbarayudu said. Kadapa district has 21 HIV/AIDS testing centres and efforts were on to extend the facilities to all primary health centres, Dr. Subbarayudu said.

Treatment facilities to prevent transfer of AIDS from pregnant women to their infants were available at Kadap, Pulivendula and Proddatur, he said.

Executive Director of SC Corporation M. Revathi explained about Regional Network programmes.

DMHO K. Pitchi Reddy and Zilla Parishad CEO P. Durga Prasad explained about AIDS prevention measures. CEO of STEP B. Maheswara Reddy, ICDS Project Director S. Leelavathi, Deputy Director of Social Welfare R. Venugopala Rao also spoke.

Earlier, the Collector inaugurated a social welfare boys hostel costing Rs. 20 lakhs at Chinnamandem.

AIDS information centres were set up in 500 panchayat offices in Kadapa district, he said.