Patna, Dec.1 :Students in Bihar capital Patna city on Monday took out rally to mark World AIDS Day, and called for generating more awareness to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
Holding banners and placards on AIDS awareness, college students said they were doing their bit to check the spread of theisease in the country.
"The main intension is to spread awareness about AIDS as awareness about the disease can prevent it," said Preeti, a student.
December 1, 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, an effort to raise public awareness about HIV/AIDS issues, including the need for support and understanding for people living with HIV/AIDS. The day is also an opportunity to highlight the need for continued development of education and prevention.
"The disease is spreading in the country and this rally is to impart more awareness about the disease," Priyanka, another student added.
Despite the state's great vulnerability to the virus, brought on by a tottering health care system, large-scale worker migration and a long porous border with Nepal, the issue is clothed in superstition and fed on misinformation.
AIDS is a serious problem in India. About 2.5 million people are infected with HIV. The first AIDS case in India was detected in 1986.
According to National Family Health survey, the average HIV prevalence among women attending antenatal clinics in India is 0.60 percent. Much higher rates are found among people attending sexually transmitted disease clinics (3.74 percent),female sex workers (4.90 percent), injecting drug users (6.92 percent) and men who have sex with men (6.41 percent).
Across the world HIV and AIDS affects children and young people most of all. Half of all new HIV infections - around 6,000 a day - are among young people aged 14-24. Every day, almost 2,000 babies are infected with HIV during pregnancy, birth or through breastfeeding.
This threat is not only to their own health; estimates show that some 16 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS and another 40 million will be orphaned in the next 10 years.