Lok Sabha speaker asks MPs to create awareness on AIDS
All MPs should dedicate themselves to creating awareness about AIDS, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said on World AIDS Day.
"This dreaded disease has spread its tentacles all across the globe and is expected to cause as many as 40 million deaths this millennium," the speaker said in a statement read out in Lok Sabha when the house convened at 11 a.m on Tuesday.
“Eradication of the disease is one of the toughest challenges for mankind,” the speaker added. India has a population of one billion, around half of whom are adults in the sexually active age group. The first AIDS case in India was detected in 1986; since then HIV infection has been reported in all states and union territories.
"Let us, on this occasion, rededicate ourselves to creating awareness about this disease and to take concrete steps for its check and eventually its eradication," the speaker added.
At present 2.5 million people in India are affected by HIV. The spread of HIV in India has been diverse, with much of India having a low rate of infection and the epidemic being most extreme in the southern half of the country and in the far north-east.
The highest HIV prevalence rates are found in Maharashtra in the west; Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in the south; and Manipur and Nagaland in the north-east. As of August 2006, 90 percent of all nationally reported AIDS cases have been found in 10 of the 38 states and union territories.