|State observes World AIDS Day|
GUWAHATI, Dec 1 – The Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) observed World AIDS Day today with a gamut of activities both at State-level and in the districts. The central function was held at the International Convention Centre, Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra, here. This was preceded by a rally in which various organisations, NGOs, self-help groups, Red Ribbon Clubs of various colleges, nursing institutes etc., participated. The rally was flagged off by noted singer Manas Robin at the Veterinary College playground and it culminated at Kalakshetra.
A procession being taken out on the occasion of World AIDS Day in the city
The State-level function was inaugurated by Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Nazrul Islam. This was preceded by the inauguration of the blood donation camp by the minister at the venue. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Islam stressing the theme – Getting to Zero: Zero New HIV Infections: Zero Discrimination: Zero AIDS-Related Deaths – said that though HIV prevalence rate is much lower in Assam when compared to the national average, the State being the gateway to Northeast, is highly vulnerable. He further said, “Discrimination of HIV-infected persons in society is more dangerous than the HIV menace.” He also stressed proper awareness about HIV/AIDS in society.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Chandan Barua, Project Director ASACS said, “AIDS is a global menace and since medical science has not been able to come up with any vaccine, awareness is the only medicine.” On the rise of HIV/AIDS in the State, Barua said, “Till now, 9,000 cases have been detected in Assam, which is largely due to the awareness campaigns launched by the ASACS.”
Dr PN Talukdar, Additional Project Director, ASACS gave an overall view of the activities undertaken by ASACS along with the facilities available. Former project directors SK Roy, M Hagjer Barman and Dr JC Deuri also attended the function. Altogether ten best blood donor organisations were feted during the function, said a press statement.
At the district level, the district health societies also observed the day with various programmes like rallies, awareness meetings etc.