'Be Bold Campaign' Attracts Thousands of HIV Patients

by Medindia Content Team on  December 9, 2007 at 12:01 PM AIDS/HIV News   - G J E 4
'Be Bold Campaign' Attracts Thousands of HIV Patients
Around 7000 AIDS and HIV positive people gathered here for a mega-event to mark World AIDS week.

Women, men and children affected by the fatal disease came together for the "Be Bold Campaign", which is a follow up of last year's programme organised by the state's Aids Control Society.

G. Ashok Kumar, Project Director of the Andhra Pradesh AIDS Control Society
(APACS) said such events boost the people's confidence.

"We had a big campaign called "Be Bold". This was primarily intended to transform the awareness generated into action. Last year we had a get together of about 3800 positive people in this very same place, and we found that after they left this place they had a tremendous self-confidence boost, which they got from here," he added.

Knowledge about the illness is still scant, and most Indians who test positive for the virus do not know about the pitfalls that lead to contracting the disease, its incidence and cure.

Bhanu Kumar, a counsellor, said: "There are games for children and they are telling us what we do not know about AIDS".

Lack of awareness and a widespread stigma have contributed to the paranoia surrounding the virus in India. HIV patients are meted out rude treatment and are often looked down upon.

AIDS has acquired the status of endemic in India -- where over 2.5 million people are thought to be living with HIV/AIDS -- and putting millions of more lives at risk.

According to the latest UN figures on AIDS, the global prevalence of HIV AIDS has levelled off in part due to effective HIV programs. Still, in 2007, there are 33.2 million people infected with the disease -- about 30.8 million adults and 2.5 million children.

Latest figures show 2.5 million people have become newly infected and 2.1 million people will die of AIDS related causes in 2007.

Source: ANI

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