The World Health Organization survey reveals that currently more than 5.13 million patients are suffering from AIDS in India, with more and more number of cases being reported each year. Anti-retroviral treatments have already been initiated in 36 hospitals across the country.
The priority of the Indian Government is to save millions of youth from falling prey to the disease. Inorder to increase awareness and promote community participation, of four-day unique mass mobilisation campaign named ''Goonj" had been conducted. It is believed that the program ''Goonj'' or echo would scare away the HIV/AIDS from the country.
Haryana Governor A R Kidwai, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Health Minister Kartar Devi and Punjab Health Minister R C Dogra also attended the function. The campaign was jointly organised by the AIDS Control Societies of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh under the aegis of NACO.
Union Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, who was the chief guest, said: ''After Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, we plan to launch an awareness campaign in Delhi on December 1 and then take it to Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.'' He also stressed on the need for a visible condom promotion campaign to check the spread of AIDS in India.
A wide range of activities, including a 30-second 'AIDS Alert' that was sounded, marked the end of the campaign at the Leisure Valley here. The people participated through whatever means they had, be it the cycle bell, call bell, bike horns or clinking of forks, spoons or thalis.
The National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) has worked out proposals for installation of 12,000 new condom vending machines across the country. Director General of NACO, Dr S Y Qureishi said: ''We have introduced three kinds of machinesone with condoms worth Rs 5 each, another with three brands of condoms worth Rs 5, 10 and 15 each and a third multi-purpose machine, which will not only dispense condoms but other things as well.''