"Linkages should be made between HIV and AIDS programme and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme to facilitate employment of HIV positive persons," Singh said addressing the National Convention of Zila Parishad Chairpersons and Mayors on HIV
The Prime Minister said, "We must ensure that no person loses his or her employment because of HIV".
He said there is a need to ensure that women are not doubly stigmatised. He also underlined the importance of strengthening the Panchayati Raj institutions and communities supported by them in National HIV and AIDS programme to get better results.
Both the Prime Minister and Gandhi highlighted the role of civil society in HIV/AIDs control programmes.
"If health has to become a truly people''s movement for people's benefit, civil society involvement and Panchayati Raj guided programme delivery are absolutely essential," Singh said.
Gandhi also hailed the "active civil society initiative" in the AIDS control programme.
The Prime Minister noted the AIDS control programmes have been able to reduce new HIV/AIDS infections by 50 per cent in the last 10 years.
Gandhi said, "We are beginning to turn the tide in the battle." While hailing the success the country has achieved in containing HIV AIDS, the Prime Minister said, "There should be no room for complacency even though we have been able to show a reduction in new infections."
Noting that there are 24 lakh people estimated to be living in India with HIV/AIDS, Singh said, "There should be no let up in efforts to provide services to these HIV infected people and prevent others from getting the infection."
"We have a large population of young persons to whom we have to reach out with awareness and other prevention services. There are emerging vulnerabilities of migrants and mobile populations which are not yet fully addressed. HIV prevention services have to be scaled up for all those who are at risk."