HIV assuming serious proportions in the Northeast

 
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Guwahati, Jul 15 (UNI) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has stressed the urgent need for raising awareness on AIDS as the dreaded disease is gradually snowballing into a major problem in the North East.

The Chief Minister said this while releasing a book entitled ''Positive in Rhino Land: Battle Against HIV/AIDS in Assam'', written by noted journalist Wasbir Hussain.

Although as per the National Aids Control Organization (NACO) statistics, Assam is far behind the worst-affected states, including Manipur, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Mr Gogoi said awareness was the key to preventing the disease.

The book contributes to the battle against AIDS by incorporating the real life sagas of the people living with the disease.

The book is a real life narrative of men and women, boys and girls who have contracted the life-threatening HIV through different means, but have come to terms with it and are endeavouring to live a normal life.

The Chief Minister also said he believed that the book would go a long way for making the lesser literate people aware of the medical terminology of AIDS.

The book recounts the lives of many HIV positive people in Assam, bringing out their tragedies, struggles and determination to live and focusses on the endeavour of AIDS control agencies to keep this serious health issue within manageable limits by checking its spread.

Mr Hussain, in his book said the HIV/AIDS scenario in Assam, particularly the level of awareness among the people, had undergone a sea change from August 1990 when the first AIDS case was reported in the state.

Mrs Jahnavi Goswami, the first person of the North East to declare herself an HIV positive, also spoke on the book release and recounted her story.

UNI MT RH DPM RL HT1652

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