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Muppet show, rallies mark World AIDS Day

By STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, Dec 1 - The Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) today observed World AIDS Day with a gamut of activities including rallies, muppet show and public functions. The theme of World AIDS Day-2020 is �Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility�.

The day began with flagging off of the foot rally and all girls� bike rally by noted sportsperson (boxer) Bhagyabati Kachari and actor/writer Dr Akashitora along with ASACS Project Director Anurag Goel on the ASACS premises at 8:30 am. After passing through different areas of the city, the rallies culminated at the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra, Panjabari.

The State-level function was held at the Sri Sri Madhabdev International Auditorium where Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Pijush Hazarika inaugurated a blood donation camp.

Speaking on the occasion as chief guest, the minister said, �During the late 90s, many people lost their lives because of AIDS as there was no available treatment. But today HIV has become a manageable and treatable disease.� Equating HIV with COVID-19, he said neither HIV nor COVID-19 has a vaccine and therefore, prevention is the only vaccine.

Hazarika further said that although Assam�s HIV prevalence is less than in other north-eastern states, still the State is vulnerable to HIV because it is surrounded by three of the most highly prevalent states - Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur. He also praised the efforts of the health department in fighting the COVID-19 menace.

Speaking on the occasion as a guest of honour, noted playback singer Nahid Afrin said, �The new generation should stand against stigma and discrimination related to HIV. Forget about the myth of HIV, even the untruth related to HIV must not be spread.�

Highlighting the achievements of the HIV programme in Assam, Mission Director, NHM Dr Lakshmanan S said, �HIV programme in Assam has come a long way since the inception of ASACS in 1998. I am happy that even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Anti Retroviral (ARV) drugs were delivered to HIV-infected people at doorsteps.� Comparing HIV and COVID-19, Dr Lakshmanan said that COVID has symptoms but HIV does not show symptoms in the initial stage. He further said that for HIV prevention is the only cure.

Three positive speakers also narrated their ordeal and their fight against social discrimination. Six individuals were awarded trophies and certificates at the event for their untiring services in the field of HIV.

Earlier, Director of Health Services Dr Rathindra Bhuyan welcomed the participants and outlined the significance of World AIDS Day 2020. The day was also observed in all districts across the State.

World Aids Day was also observed at Sonapur BPHC by the District Health Society Kamrup Metro.

The meeting held on the occasion was chaired by Dr Ganesh Saikia, Joint Director of Health Services, Kamrup Metro and conducted by Kaushik Barua, BPM.

On the occasion a rally was taken out from the PHC to the Sonapur Circle Office with 50 participants. The meeting was held by maintaining all covid-related protocol.

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Muppet show, rallies mark World AIDS Day

GUWAHATI, Dec 1 - The Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) today observed World AIDS Day with a gamut of activities including rallies, muppet show and public functions. The theme of World AIDS Day-2020 is �Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility�.

The day began with flagging off of the foot rally and all girls� bike rally by noted sportsperson (boxer) Bhagyabati Kachari and actor/writer Dr Akashitora along with ASACS Project Director Anurag Goel on the ASACS premises at 8:30 am. After passing through different areas of the city, the rallies culminated at the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra, Panjabari.

The State-level function was held at the Sri Sri Madhabdev International Auditorium where Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Pijush Hazarika inaugurated a blood donation camp.

Speaking on the occasion as chief guest, the minister said, �During the late 90s, many people lost their lives because of AIDS as there was no available treatment. But today HIV has become a manageable and treatable disease.� Equating HIV with COVID-19, he said neither HIV nor COVID-19 has a vaccine and therefore, prevention is the only vaccine.

Hazarika further said that although Assam�s HIV prevalence is less than in other north-eastern states, still the State is vulnerable to HIV because it is surrounded by three of the most highly prevalent states - Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur. He also praised the efforts of the health department in fighting the COVID-19 menace.

Speaking on the occasion as a guest of honour, noted playback singer Nahid Afrin said, �The new generation should stand against stigma and discrimination related to HIV. Forget about the myth of HIV, even the untruth related to HIV must not be spread.�

Highlighting the achievements of the HIV programme in Assam, Mission Director, NHM Dr Lakshmanan S said, �HIV programme in Assam has come a long way since the inception of ASACS in 1998. I am happy that even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Anti Retroviral (ARV) drugs were delivered to HIV-infected people at doorsteps.� Comparing HIV and COVID-19, Dr Lakshmanan said that COVID has symptoms but HIV does not show symptoms in the initial stage. He further said that for HIV prevention is the only cure.

Three positive speakers also narrated their ordeal and their fight against social discrimination. Six individuals were awarded trophies and certificates at the event for their untiring services in the field of HIV.

Earlier, Director of Health Services Dr Rathindra Bhuyan welcomed the participants and outlined the significance of World AIDS Day 2020. The day was also observed in all districts across the State.

World Aids Day was also observed at Sonapur BPHC by the District Health Society Kamrup Metro.

The meeting held on the occasion was chaired by Dr Ganesh Saikia, Joint Director of Health Services, Kamrup Metro and conducted by Kaushik Barua, BPM.

On the occasion a rally was taken out from the PHC to the Sonapur Circle Office with 50 participants. The meeting was held by maintaining all covid-related protocol.