IMPHAL, Dec 1 – Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh today said public awareness on HIV/AIDS is more important than drugs and medications to control the dreaded disease and added that there is need to counter it together on war footing though the number of people living with HIV/AIDS has dramatically declined in the State.
Ibobi urged, “Let’s work hard to bring the HIV infection rate down to zero in the next five years. People should not hide themselves from the disease.”
NGOs/CSOs working on HIV/AIDS which are getting money for projects without rendering service to the people infected with the disease would be blacklisted, he warned. The State Government has already instructed the authority concerned to take action against such bodies, the Chief Minister said marking the World AIDS Day 2014 at Manipur Rifles Ground here.
Organised by the Manipur AIDS Control Society (MACS), this year’s edition of the World AIDS Day was observed under the theme “Getting To Zero.”
Health Minister Phungzathang Tonsing in his speech said 90 per cent of the general population are aware of HIV/AIDS which is now spreading in the State through “sexual activity.”
He said HIV had multiplied in Manipur through drug-using activities in the past, but it is now spreading through sexual activity. Tonsing said the rate of HIV infection among women and children has increased in the State during the last two decades.