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World AIDS Day : Guv moots policy changes, CM announces home delivery of ART drugs

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 01 2021: Governor La Ganesan has mooted the idea of making modifications and improvement in the policy for fighting HIV/AIDS to suit the changing circum-stances and trend of the public health issue.

He was speaking as the chief guest at the State level observance of the World AIDS Day, 2021 which was organized today by the Manipur State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) at 1st MR Parade Ground.

The Governor went on to ask experts and intellectuals working in the HIV/AIDS related fields to bring out news ideas and suggestions from time to time to make the policy appropriate as per the situation while expressing hope that it will be of immense help to the society in mitigating HIV/AIDS.

Stressing on the importance of making concerted efforts in mitigating HIV/AIDS in the State, La Ganesan asked the youths in the State to be more aware and responsive to the HIV/AIDS related activities and programmes.

World AIDS Day : Guv moots policy changes, CM announces home delivery of ART drugs

He expressed gratification at the same time to note that the infection rate among mothers and youngsters has been significantly diminishing while the HIV prevalence rate among injecting drug users and men and women has also significantly come down in the last two decades.

"The society at large should be involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS to save the future of Manipur.

We as society must ensure to help children who are being affected by AIDS directly and indirectly and make them successful in their life", the Governor added.

Stressing on the World AIDS Day, 2021 theme
"End inequalities, end AIDS", he said the theme lays special focus on reaching people left behind and highlights the growing inequalities in accessing essential HIV services and treatment.

"World AIDS Day is an important event all over the world, particularly in the State of Manipur where the people have experienced the impacts of HIV/AIDS for three decades.

Many innocent people died due to HIV/AIDS related diseases/ailments while many women and children have become widows and orphans", La Ganesan said.

Lauding that Manipur has been adopting a State AIDS policy of its own since 1996, the Governor appreciated MSACS and NGOs working in HIV/AIDS for implementing the NACO programme in the State.

He added that the issue of HIV/AIDS could have been much worse had the NGOs not taken the proactive role.

The Governor also appealed to all the youngsters to remove their fear and ignorance on the HIV issues and make earnest efforts to make themselves mentally and physically fit by indulging in sports and cultural activities.

Delivering his presidential speech, Chief Minister N Biren announced that the State Government would start home delivery of ART medicines to HIV/AIDS infected people from next month.

He maintained that the initiative would be taken up as many of the HIV/AIDS infected people are reluctant to appear at ART centres to take ART medicines for fear of social discrimination.

Saying that the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the State is still higher than the National prevalence rate although the State's prevalence figure has decreased significantly from the past, the Chief Minister urged NGOs to make more concerted effort to further minimize it.

During the function, the Governor launched a link ART Centre for Mao sub-district hospital in the presence of the Chief Minister, PWD Minister Thongam Biswajit and Principal Secretary (Health) V Vumlunmang.