December 01, 2009 : Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, launched the 25 days long HIV/AIDS Awareness Campaign from historic Ridge Maidan, here today. An impressive function was organised by the Himachal Pradesh Aids Control Society, to mark the occasion of 22nd World AIDS Day at its State Level Function. Himachal Pradesh Police presented a spectacular display of dare devil motor cycle riders and march to crate an awareness amongst the masses about AIDS. The theme of the World AIDS Day this year is ‘Global Approach and Human Rights’.
Chief Minister emphasised the need to get HIV/AIDS test conducted by the bride and groom before their marriage to ensure safe and healthy married life. He said that there was need for creation of mass awareness amongst the people about the dreaded disease which was yet to get cured. He said that there were 3.34 crore HIV infected people in the world out of which 50 percent were in Asian sub-continent. He said that India had 23.10 lakh such cases while in Himachal Pradesh its number was 4,013. He said that Himachal Pradesh had the lowest number of such cases in the country. He said that no new case had been reported from any of the districts of the State during current year which confirms the mass awareness being created amongst the masses under different programmes of the AIDS Control Society and people were voluntarily coming forward to get themselves tested and examined for HIV/AIDS. He said that awareness had resulted into reduction of positivity rate which was 9.1 percent during 2006-07 and had come down to 1.1 during current financial year. State had established anti-retroviral centres at Shimla and Hamirpur and soon one more such centre would be established in district Kangra as well.
Prof. Dhumal underlined the need to check the HIV infection transfer from mother to child and lend cooperative hand to the AIDS infected people to help them lead a respectful life in the society. He said that the youth needed to be educated about the dreaded effect of the HIV/AIDS and consultation and investigation facilities should be made available to them. He also emphasised the need to check the sex abuse against young women and provide them security from such anti-social elements. He said that drug abuse was one of the major cause which was making youth drug addictives which also required to be checked and youth saved from such bad habits. State Government was taking all precautionary steps to check drug abuse in and around the educational institutions.
Chief Minister said that the State Government had increased the number of consultation and investigation centres from 21 to 44 and 1,09,960 persons had availed the facility of consultation and 1,04,533 got themselves examined. He said that additionally 43,678 pregnant women had also taken benefit of the consultation and examination facilities during past two years. 166 Red Ribbon Clubs had been established in educational institutions and 23 such clubs would be set up in HRTC Workshops and 77 gram pachayats in the near future. He said that Nehru Yuva Kendra would also be establishing 175 Red Ribbon Clubs in 175 non-educational institutions to intensify mass awareness campaign. Blood donation camps were also being organised supplemented by the NGOs and 202 such camps had been organised and 6,906 units of blood collected to make the same available to the needy and emergency cases, he added.
Prof. Dhumal appealed to the awakened people of the society to actively involve themselves in such awareness campaigns and help build a strong and healthy society. He said that no endeavour of the State Government would achieve its objective without the cooperation of the people.
Earlier Chief Minister also inaugurated the Blood Donation Camp.
Dr. Rajiv Bindal, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Shri Suresh Bhardwaj, MLA, Shri Mahender Pandey, Organising Secretary, State BJP, Shri G.S.Gill, Director General of Police, Shri D.S.Minhas, Director General Vigilence, Shri B.N.Negi, Shri B.Kamal Kumar and Shri I.D.Bhandari, Additional Director Generals of Police, Shri O.C.Thakur, Inspector General of Police, Shri A.N.Sharma, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Dr. Nagesh, Director of Health Services, Dr. Sulakshna Puri, Project Director, HP State Aids Control Society, Shri J.S.Rana, Deputy Commissioner, Shri R.M.Sharma, Superintendant of Police and other senior officers of the State Government were also present on the occasion.