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World AIDS Day observed in Manipur
Sobhapati Samom
 IMPHAL,Dec 1 – Manipur State AIDS Control Society despite their efforts need to do more as about 5,000 HIV positive persons detected during 2003-04 and onwards do not attend ART centres.

Disclosing this, Manipur Governor Gurbachan Jagat on Saturday, said, “These are the ones who will and can spread the infection as they are the silent spreaders. These people need to be identified and registered with the centres”. He was addressing the World AIDS Day observation here which was presided over by Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh.

Stating that the advantages of registering is that they are not only provided ART but also with the further information to better manage their lives, Governor said, I am happy that Manipur quickly accepted the prevalence of the disease once the first case was detected in 1990 and started early on its control and management.

Having porous international borders, it creates a situation in that interventions cannot be localised but those coming from other parts and across the borders. “I am happy to note that efforts in this direction are being made at Moreh besides targeting the migrant workers, who are males and sexually active”, he added. Manipur which has a strong community bonds should be able to provide this and need to act on this if we want a HIV free society.

Chief Minister Ibobi in his presidential speech reminded the gathering that since 1990 till October this year a total of 42,116 HIV positive cases including 11,778 women and 2,773 children have been reported in the State.

“The observance of World AIDS day is to caution the people of the impending dangers of the HIV and AIDS epidemic and also to enhance services for prevention, care and treatment”, says Ibobi. This year’s theme is “getting to zero emphasis to zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, zero AIDS related deaths”.

Informing that Manipur is the only State to have a separate AIDS policy which was adopted in 1996 and the draft revised State policy is in the final stage to meet the new challenges in dealing with AIDS issues in the State, he invited suggestions and modification from all stake holders to make the policy more effective and suitable to the State.

Many professionals who serves for the welfare for the people living with HIV positive were honoured during the observation.

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