Health Minister Dr Rajiv Bindal stressed upon a sustained awareness strategy for sensitizing people about AIDS and added that December would be observed as AIDS Awareness Month and an Awareness Campaign would be launched from 1st to 25th December to make every section of the society aware of the preventions of the disease. Minister said it while addressing a meeting of the State Council of AIDS.

Dr Bindal reviewed the progress and effectiveness of various programmes being implemented by the State AIDS Control Society and Health Department. He said that there had been 300 percent increase in availability of infrastructural facilities for the benefit of AIDS patients in the State during the tenure of present government. He said that now 48 ICTC Centres, 3 ART Centres, 5 Mobile Blood Transportation Vans, One Blood Donation Van and 3 Blood Separator Units were functional in the State to facilitate these patients. He said that the state government was spending Rs 1 crore on various schemes being implemented for AIDS patients during the current year and added that AIDS detection tests of about 67000 persons had been conducted during last six months against a total target of conducting tests of 1,40,000 persons during the current year.

Health Minister said that State Government was taking vigorous steps to sensitize people of every section of the society about AIDS and added that Cell of HIV/AIDS have been formed in all the major departments and Nodal Officers have been appointed. The departments were organizing awareness activities on World AIDS Day whereas the State AIDS Control Society was providing technical support in form of trainings and workshops, IEC Material etc. Health Minister said that an awareness campaign would be launched from 1st to 25th December at State and District level to generate awareness upto the remotest corner of the State. He said that the campaign would be launched from Hamirpur with the inauguration of two-day long Red Ribbon Fair and added that AIDS detection with the help of 2 ICTC Vans, Blood Donation Camps, Treatment Camps, Painting, Sports and Quiz Competitions of Red Ribbon Clubs of colleges, Exhibitions, Video Shows and Nukkad Nataks etc for sensitizing the people would be the main highlights of the State level Programme. The Chief Minister was expected to inaugurate the programme on the inaugural day on 1st December by flagging off Face Painting Rally of Youth and presiding over the Conference of the Members of the Red Ribbon Clubs of various schools and colleges constituted across the State.

Dr Bindal said that Ministers and MLAs would flag off HIV AIDS Awareness Rallies in their districts. He said detailed programmes have been chalked out for all the 25 days of the month of December at District level which include displaying banners, HIV/AIDS awareness message in morning assemblies in schools, Awareness Camps by Red Ribbon Clubs in all colleges and technical institutes, Rallies of Red Ribbon Clubs constituted by Nehru Yuva Kendra and Youth Services and Sports department, Awareness Workshops for various sections of society including beauty parlour owners and barbers, NGOs, Community Groups (CBOs ), Risk Groups, Truck, Bus Drivers and Conductors, Farmers, Police Personnel and Para-military forces, Industrial Workers, Migrant Labourers etc, PRI Representatives and Media Persons.

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