By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 1 Dec: An awareness rally was organised at Gandhi Park on the occasion of World AIDS Day here, today, which was inaugurated by Health Minister Dr Dhan Singh Rawat. He flagged off the awareness rally, organised by Uttarakhand State AIDS Control Committee.
On this occasion, Rawat said that work is being done on a large scale for the prevention of HIV-AIDS in the state, which showed that the HIV positivity rate had come down from 0.48 to 0.24, which was a good sign. He added that, at present, 5580 AIDS patients are registered in the state, whose treatment is ongoing at 7 ART centres. Free counselling and medicines are being made available to the people suffering from HIV by the State Government. He disclosed that the scope of testing of HIV-AIDS infected has been increased. While, in the year 2015, 1.5 lakh persons were tested for HIV infection, now, 3.5 lakh persons were being tested for HIV infection. He added that about 900 HIV patients are being registered every year in the state and that the government is serious about ensuring an HIV infection-free Uttarakhand. For this, awareness programmes are being conducted on the lines of TB-free Uttarakhand. He said that 164 ICTC centres and 7 ART centres have been established across the state for testing, treatment and counselling of the HIV infected.
Students of various schools, children of Red Cross Society, NSS and NCC cadets participated in the awareness rally organised on World AIDS Day. The rally passed through Gandhi Park, Clock Tower, Darshan Lal Chowk and returned to Gandhi Park, where it culminated.
Through the Uttarakhand State AIDS Control Committee, programmes for the prevention of HIV AIDS are being conducted across the state. After identifying the HIV infected, free medicines and counselling are being made available to them by the government.
Director, Health, Dr Bharti Rana, Chairman, Indian Red Cross Committee, Dr MS Ansari, Secretary Kalpana Bisht, Dr NS Khatri, Additional Project Director, Uttarakhand State AIDS Control Committee, Dr Ajay Kumar Nagarkar, Programme Officer Sanjay Singh Bisht, Sunil Kumar Singh, Gagandeep Luthra, DK Gupta and Surendra Bisht were present. Several social organisations were also involved in the event.