'U.S. report on AIDS exaggerated'

NEW DELHI NOV. 10. The Union Health Minister, Shatrughan Sinha, today said that an U.S. agency report had made exaggerated projections on AIDS with reference to India and there might be some vested interests behind it.

``We have in India around four million people living with HIV. It is, however, completely inaccurate to claim that India will have over 25 million people living with HIV/AIDS by 2010,'' Sinha said.

There is no need to panic as there is no merit in such ``propaganda,'' Mr. Sinha said at a health assembly meeting organised by the National Medicos Organisation here. He hinted that some multinational companies, which are looking for improvement in the prospects of future market for AIDS drugs, might be behind this propaganda.

However, this is a matter of concern for the country that from one case reported in 1986, the number had gone up to about 4 million, he said adding the Government was taking all steps to prevent its spread.

Mr. Sinha said the country had made a lot of progress in all the fields but was still facing the burden of many diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, polio and leprosy. He said the Government needed help from all sections to reach the goal of `Health for All.' — PTI

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