Manipur legislators to launch awareness programme on AIDS

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Imphal, Oct 27 (UNI) All 60 legislators of Manipur Legislative Assembly will be participating in an intensive campaign to stop spread of HIV/AIDS.

Manipur Legislative Assembly Speaker Dr S Buddhichandra today told media persons here at the Assembly complex that as per decision of the Parliamentary Forum on HIV/AIDS the Legislative Forum was formed in Manipur on June 20.

Now about 12 states has formed Legislative Forums so that political leaders can also take active part in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Dr Buddhichandra said.

Out of the 60 Assembly constitutuencies in Manipur, 30 will be selected in the first phase and AIDS-related campaign will be held along with officials of Manipur AIDS Control Society, members of the Panchyats, Municipal Council, Church leaders, NGOs and people living with HIV/AIDS, the Speaker said.

The campaign will start in the second week of November and continue till December 1, which is the World AIDS day.

AIDS has been spreading fast and hence an executive council of the legislative forum has been formed with the Speaker as Chairman and five other MLAs as members to execute the work.

The active participation of the political leaders will enable experts on AIDS to interact with the masses to a great extent, the Speaker further added.

Project Director of Manipur AIDS Control Society Dr Kom said the disease was spreading fast and till July last about 27,240 cases were detected in Manipur alone out of which 6,762 were women. So far, about 4,131 cases were detected and 608 have died.

So far, about 2,08,192 blood samples were screened in the state.

Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu were the other two states, which were also badly affected by the dreaded disease.

Dr Kom said the disease started among the drug users and the percentage was about 77 in 1997. However, it has now been brought down to 19 per cent by 2006. Intense drive was undertaken to stop spread of the disease among sex workers both men and women and there was a decline.

The transmission route is now different as it has reached the masses. From the city areas the disease has reached the rural and hilly areas and were affecting moatly the women, the Project Director said.

UNI

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