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100 ART centres to treat 1 lakh AIDS/HIV patients: Minister

Written by: Staff

Hyderabad, May 2 (UNI) The Union Government will add 100 Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) Centres this year to the existing 60 centres to provide free treatment to over one lakh People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs), Union Minister of State for Health P Lakshmi said today.

Participating in the launch of the month-long AIDS Awareness and Sustained Holistic Action (AASHA)-II Campaign by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, she said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had taken a serious view of the dreaded disease afflicting 40 per cent of the people in the age group of 15 to 29 years and formed the National Council on AIDS to achieve AIDS-free India.

''Youth should be involved in a big way in the camapign,'' she stressed.

The Centre had allocated Rs 264.60 crore this year for eradication of the disease and Andhra Pradesh, one of the six generalised epidemic states, would get Rs 87 crore, she informed.

Handing over the ''AASHA'' torch to youth leaders, the Chief Minister promised to provide land free of cost to Non-Governmental Organisations for taking care of children orphaned due to HIV/AIDs.

Noting that AASHA-I, taken up last year, was helpful in promoting voluntary testing, reducing stigma and discrimination against PLWHAs and enhanced the dialogue on HIV/AIDS in various forms across the state, State Health Minister K Rosaiah said AASHA-II would focus from community participation to community ownership during the campaign.


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