AIDS awareness campaign gains momentum in India

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New Delhi, Mar 3 (ANI): Vice President Hamid Ansari released a book on AIDS here last evening.

The book titled "Hopes Alive: Surviving AIDS and Despair" is published by FXB India Suraksha.

Addressing a gathering, Ansari said that the significance of the public health challenge posed by HIV/AIDS was widely accepted and undeniable, adding that vulnerable groups without any roof over their heads required special attention.

"I do hope that more efforts would be focused on addressing the problems that lead to this phenomenon of platform children and concerted governmental and civil society actions would succeed in addressing their plight," Ansari said.

India accounts for roughly half the estimated HIV infected population in Asia with 2.47 million cases.

India was thought to have the world's biggest HIV-positive caseload with 5.7 million infections. But a new UN-backed estimate almost halved that number after a new survey based on population rather than specific groups.

But the report warned that India must be extremely careful as people were still ignorant about use of condoms and AIDS, especially among drug users and women in rural India.

It said there were other challenges ahead such as effective sex education and strategic planning.

A study among young brides in the Uttar Pradesh found that 71 per cent knew nothing about how sex happens and 83 per cent did not know about pregnancy, the report added. (ANI)

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