Chandigarh, Dec 1 (UNI) Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda lit a candle and shook hands with a two-year-old child suffering from AIDS to dispel the belief that AIDS is a contagious disease at a function organised on the occasion of World AIDS day in Panchkula, near here.
Speaking during a function organised by Haryana AIDS Control Society to create awareness among the people about HIV and AIDS, Mr Hooda urged the people ''not to hate those suffering from HIV and AIDS, but instead help them in leading a normal life''.
The Chief Minister also administered an oath to the people on this occasion that they would work to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.
The cadets of NCC and National Service Scheme from various schools and jawans of Indo-tibetan Border Police (ITBP) lit about 10,000 candles and assured that they would strive hard to check the spread of AIDS and motivate others to join this drive for the welfare of humanity.
The non governmental organisations associated with the programme of HIV or AIDS took actively disseminated the message regarding prevention of HIV and AIDS. The main theme of this campaign was 'Take the lead, stop AIDS: keep the promise.' It was informed on the occasiont hat there were 60 integrated and counselling centres to provide testing facilities for HIV or AIDS in the state. Each of the 20 districts of Haryana have a helpline service to give counselling and answer queries raised by general public.
The entire medical and para-medical staff has been imparted training in prevention and control of HIV or AIDS and in dealing with patients of AIDS without any discriminations.
As many as 24 sexually transmitted diseases (STD) clinics provide syndomic treatment of STDs in Haryana. Anti retroviral treatment (ART) centre has been set up at Pt B D Sharma post graduate institute of medical sciences, Rohtak to treat those suffering from AIDs.
A community care centre, is also being run with the help of district Red Cross Society, Rohtak to provide nutrition and nursing care to those suffering from HIV or AIDS. Also, one Drop-in-Centre is also functional at Hisar and it is being run by those living with HIV or AIDS.