City to mark World AIDS Day

The Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society is observing World AIDS Day for positive anti-AIDS action. "Getting to Zero: Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Deaths from AIDS-related Illness, Zero Discrimination" is the theme of World AIDS Day 2012.

Given the spread of epidemic today, getting to zero is a challenge but significant progress is underway.

According to Dr Vanita Gupta, Project Director, Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society, AIDS awareness has increased in Chandigarh and the data shows that HIV testing has increased and positivity in Chandigarh among both general population and high risk groups has decreased.

The new case detection rate amongst the walk-in voluntary testing of general clients in the ICTC centres of Chandigarh has been found to decline from 7.1% in the year 2008 to 2.19% in the year 2012.

The prevalence of HIV in Chandigarh continues to remain very low at 0.23%.

This clearly shows that the spread of HIV infection is on the decline, in Chandigarh. She added that World AIDS Day provides an opportunity for all of us - individuals, communities and leaders - to take action and ensure that human rights are protected and global targets for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment are met.

Gupta said that this year, World AIDS Day is being observed in 20 different parts of Chandigarh involving and covering the population. AIDS Awareness, Health Camps, Rallies, Burning of the AIDS demon, puppet shows, AIDS awareness candle marches, exhibitions, poster making, slogan writing competitions, nukkar nataks, are being conducted by partner NGOs in collaboration with the Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society. Students holding placards, banners and red ribbon in their hands will raise slogans regarding HIV/AIDS prevention.

In the evening, volunteers across the city will take out candle marches in their respective areas to take a pledge for creating awareness for prevention of HIV/AIDS transmission and to fight against discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.

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