Providing sex education to youngsters is important to tackle HIV/AIDS in India, an official of the US Embassy said today.
Engaging youngsters and giving them leadership in programmes for prevention and treatment of AIDS was necessary, Micheal Friedman of Centre for Disease Control of the embassy said at a conference organised by the Madras Medical Mission.
Clinical commitment, expertise in treatment and quality medical system were essential for the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients, he said adding Thailand and Uganda were fighting AIDS successfully through clinical committment.
HIV/AIDS could grow to alarming proportions in India, if people became complacent, thinking vaccines were around the corner. A vaccine may not be available in the near future, he said.
"The suffering caused by AIDS is like that of cancer, but the stigma attached to it is more than cancer. Three crore in the world have died of AIDS and five crore were suffering from the disease. Thousands of people are dying everyday due to AIDS," he said.
He said the life expectancy of people in South Africa had gone down to less than 40 years due to AIDS. Though the US Government had sanctioned 15 billion dollars for fighting HIV/AIDS globally, most of it was spent in African countries.
"India should solve its problems by itself, though others could provide the techniques and expertise. We are moving in the right direction, though we have a long way to go" he said. Dr. R. Lalthanglianga, Mizoram Education and Environment Minister, were among others who were present.