World AIDS Day
Today is 1st December, World AIDS Day. No other disease in the history of mankind has represented a bigger medical and social challenge than AIDS. And compounding the problem are the frightfully low levels of awareness amongst the masses, especially among the various high-risk groups. If you add govenrmental apathy to that, you can imagine why it is being predicted that by 2005 India will have more AIDS cases than those in the entire continent of Africa. Frightening!!
Looking at figures, according to NACO by the end of October this year, there have been 56151 reported cases of AIDS in India. Exactly one year back, NACO reported 41606 cases. So over the last year, there has been a 35% increase in the number of AIDS cases in India. And these are just the reported cases. Like an iceberg, a huge number of cases still lie hidden under the surface.
The Indian government has been sluggish with its response to tackle the AIDS crisis. However, on the eve of the World AIDS Day, health minister Sushma Swaraj announced that it will supply free drugs to those affected by AIDS. In addition to this, she also indicated that a new law is likely, that would make discrimination against HIV positive people and the refusal by hospitals to treat them an offence.
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