Odisha will be AIDS-Free by 2015, claims Damodar Rout

Bhubaneswar, 02.12.13: Odisha will be made free from AIDS by 2015. All-out
endeavours are being undertaken by the Health Dept. towards achieving this objective, announced Dr. Damodar Rout, Minister, Health & Family Welfare.

Damodar RoutSpeaking at a State level meeting to observe World AIDS Day jointly organised by the Health Department and Odisha State AIDS Control Society (OSACS) at Jayadev Bhawan, Dr. Rout said that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is not a health issue alone; it is also a social & economical issue. Teenagers are more susceptible to AIDS.

At present, HIV/AIDS is mostly found among youth and about 90% are in the age group of 15-49 years. So, awareness on the dreaded disease should start from school and college level. Multi-sectoral projects to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS and promote safe behavioural practices are pivotal in checking this menace.

Disseminating information regarding primary prevention services, developing and understanding about the infection to reduce stigma & discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, strengthening people’s knowledge about the measures to be taken to prevent getting HIV/AIDS and adopting preventive health habits & lifestyle will go a long way in preventing AIDS. Rapid urbanization, industrialization and unhealthy lifestyle are the main causes of all health hazards and 15 percent of those infected with HIV are from BPL-families.

AIDS‘Prevention is better than treatment to cure’ is the best-suited strategy in case of Odisha, said Dr. Rout. Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Sri P. K. Mohapatra informed that 2,583 HIV positive cases have been detected in our State this year. The total number of people infected with HIV in the State stands at 30,000 presently. Major efforts are being made to reenergise the endeavours and multiply participative processes.

Sri Mahapatra stressed people to test blood regularly and repeated that the State government aims at making the State completely free of AIDS within 2015. Among others, MLA Bhagirathi Badajena and Dhiren Kumar Patnaik, Project Director, OSACS were present at the meet.

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