World AIDS Day : CM calls for united effort
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 01 2011: Observing that prevalence rate of HIV positive cases has reached an alarming level in Manipur, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi has called upon all sections of the society to tackle the issue collectively on a war footing.

As observed across the world, the World AIDS Day was also observed in the State at 1st Bn MR ground here under the aegis of Manipur State AIDS Control Society.

The observance was graced by Governor Gurbachan Jagat, Chief Minister O Ibobi, Health and Family Welfare Minister L Jayantakumar and YAS Minister DD Thaisii as presidium members.

Counting from 1986, the number of HIV positive people recorded in Manipur till the current year has reached 38,016 .

Whatever measures taken up by the Government to control HIV is not enough.

It is more important for the people to know how to keep HIV/AIDS at bay, stated the Chief Minister.

Noting that discrimination and stigma earlier attached to HIV positive people have come down considerably, Ibobi quoting reports said that the percentage of HIV positive people in Churachandpur and Imphal West districts stand at around 15 which he termed it very unfortunate.

A silent vigil on World AIDS Day at Ukhrul
A silent vigil on World AIDS Day at Ukhrul

In view of the State's location close to international border, people need to be extra cautious.

He further exhorted all people living with HIV to come out and consult experts instead of concealing their health status.

On the occasion of the World AIDS Day, Governor Gurbachan Jagat launched Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) programme, two ART centres for Senapati and Bishnupur districts, two link ART centres for Sagolmang and Kumbi and Oral Substitution Therapy (OST) project for Senapati district.

The Governor also flagged off Mission Against AIDS which would cover Ukhrul, Chandel, Senapati, Churachandpur and Jiribam.

Addressing the gathering, Gurbachan noted that Manipur has been fighting against HIV for the last 20 years.

The epidemic has killed many people, leaving many women widowed and a large number of children orphaned.

Elaborating on this year's theme "Getting to Zero", the Governor iterated that the theme is a call to ensure no more HIV infection nor any further discrimination nor any more death due to AIDS.

The issue of HIV/AIDS is not only a health issue.

The issue is a multifarious one encompassing social, economic, legal, human rights and political aspects.

Ha also lauded the efforts of NGOs working in the field of HIV/AIDS and associated issues.

Health Minister L Jayantakumar highlighted the need to change people's mind-set about HIV/AIDS in order to tackle the menace effectively.

People need to introspect into the degenerating moral and ethical values in the society, he said.

YAS Minister DD Thaisii called upon the mass to treat people with HIV with love and care.

To mark the occasion, Red Ribbon Club and Manipur Cycle Club took out a twin rally starting from THAU ground and DM College respectively which wound up together at 1st MR ground.

The message of the twin rally was "Let's fight HIV/AIDS collectively".

The Governor also released a souvenir.

Later, winners of the painting, slogan-writing and quiz competitions organised in connection with the World AIDS Day were declared.

CADA also observed the World AIDS Day at its head office today.

It was also observed at Singjamei by the Progressive People's Organisation, at Chassad Avenue by Care Foundation Chassad Avenue and Saikul where a rally was taken out to mark the occasion.

The World AIDS Day was observed at Jiribam under the joint aegis of Child Welfare Ashram (CWA), Jiribam and Tipaimukh Tribal Economic and Environment Development Services today at CWA office, Jiribam, reports our correspondent.

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