Awareness key to preventing AIDS

On world AIDS day, UN binds people to continue fight against the fatal disease.


Sonal Matharu | December 1, 2010

Delhi health minister Kiran Walia and UN information officer Rajiv Chandran flagging off the march
Delhi health minister Kiran Walia and UN information officer Rajiv Chandran flagging off the march

HIV/AIDS spreading through hospital infection and by unethical practices by doctors have been taken up strictly by the Delhi government’s health department, said Delhi health minister Kiran Walia here on Tuesday on the occasion of world AIDS day.

“Inquiry against two doctors in Delhi who were found using infected needles has been ordered. Areas have also been identified in Gujarat where the re-used needles are collected,” said Walia. She, however, refused to name the doctors involved or the hospital which they belong to.

Walia was the chief guest at a red ribbon walk organised by the United Nations where over 500 people participated to spread awareness about HIV. Refugee children from Burma living in Delhi, auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) and over 50 ASHA workers from Delhi members from civil society walked around the Lodi Garden wearing red ribbons, caps, t-shirts and displaying placards. 

Delhi state health mission director Jayadev Sarangi said, “The life of a HIV positive person is made more difficult because of the stigma attached with the disease. This stigma should be done away with and it needs constant and collaborative efforts of the governments and the civil society to spread awareness about HIV.”

Walia added that it is only because of education and awareness about HIV/AIDS that there has been a decline in the number of new AIDS cases in the country. Six new mobile vehicles have been added to the Delhi fleet by the Delhi State AIDS Control Society (DSACS) recently, added its project director Faizi O Hashmi.

ANM from Delhi health service Vandana Kumari said, “When we talk to the women about AIDS in the slums and villages, they shy away. Even the Asha workers are not fully aware about HIV. Participating in these events even helps them enhance their knowledge about the disease.”



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