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HIV in India: SOCIAL VACCINE ONLY REMEDY FOR HIV/AIDS - DR.RAMADOSS
 
 
  IT'S A POTENTIAL THREAT TO INDIAN ECONOMY
 
Press Release Oct 18, 2005
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Govt of India
 
HIV/AIDS a potential threat to Indian economy can only be tackled by "social vaccine", said Dr.Anbumani Ramadoss, the Minister for Health and Family Welfare, while launching the programme "Goonj": Mass Mobilisation Campaign at Chandigarh today. AIDS is no longer a sexually transmitted disease, it is a monster if not challenged soon, has the power to reverse the socio-economic gains made by the country since independence, the Minister said. The "Goonj" made in Chandigarh should travel to not just the northern States but the entire country and unify people to fight the menace jointly.
 
Dr.Ramadoss explained that the leap Indian economy poised to make, stands seriously threatened as the pandemic (HIV/AIDS) could reduce productive work force, increase social and medical costs in a way that would force diversion of budgets allocated for developmental programmes. Fighting AIDS is an extremely challenging task, which requires untiring efforts by the government and the society at large and in particular the youth.
 
Speaking about various initiatives taken not only by the government but all concerned, Dr.Ramadoss said that a unique mass mobilisation campaign called "Red Ribbon Express" designed to traverse the length and breadth of the country will cover 180 stations and 40,000 panchayats. It is expected to create over 1,00,000 trained youth volunteers to campaign against HIV/AIDS. The epidemic unevenly distributed across the nation may also affect Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh which have low prevalence rate. The pattern of two way migration found in prime income generating population necessitates that people are not only made aware of the risk in transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS but also equipped to deal with risk situations. Condom use needs to be improved and widened. Changing the mind set of service providers is also an important task in this, Dr.Ramadoss said.
 
 
 
 
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