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AIDS awareness campaigns have not had desired effect: Experts

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, June 6 (UNI) Health experts here have rued that the sustained HIV and AIDS awareness campaigns have not had their desired effect.

Septuagenarian Dr R D Lele, who along with two other physicians, is credited with detecting the first HIV/AIDS case in the country at Chennai in 1986, at an interaction with reporters here yesterday, said the fear of rejection still lurks in the minds of the affected people, forcing them to remain silent about their status.

He pointed out that across the developed world, and particularly in the United States, concealing HIV status from a partner was tantamount to culpable homicide.

Dr Lele, while stating that masturbation was a healthy practice in place of abstinence and unsafe sex, stressed that prevention should be the focal point of all HIV/AIDS campaign in the country.

Tuberculosis and respiratory diseases specialist Dr K C Mohanty of People's Health Organisation (PHO) suggested that new mechanisms need to be developed by activists campaigning against HIV/AIDS in the country.

While noting that India was emerging as a drug capital in the Asian region, he underscored the need to put in extra efforts to educate and make the youth aware on the interconnection between drugs, intoxication and unsafe sex.

Dr I S Gilada of AIDS Society of India, however, said during the last few years, HIV/AIDS has been effectively controlled in the city through sustained awareness and health campaigns, especially among Commercial Sex Workers.


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