The meeting between the Union Minister for Health and family welfare, Anbumani Ramadoss and Sue Hill, the visiting Chief Scientific Officer of the British Department of Health ended up with a positive note, with both officials willing to extend mutual help and cooperation towards strengthening the health sector.
The meeting lasted for more than an hour according to official reports. Issues regarding stem cell research and clinical diagnosis predominated the discussion.
Management of communicable and non-communicable diseases, medical tourism, upgrading of nursing education and policies concerning medical practioners were among the other topics considered during the interview.
It was found during the later part of the interview that there was vast scope for co-operation between the two sides in the health sector, more specifically to methods of tackling certain global health problems.
The Minister also had a detailed discussion with the visiting Executive Director of UNAIDS, Peter Piot, regarding the global AIDS/HIV situation and the situation in India in particular.
While responding to questions raised regarding the genuineness of actress Kushboo's statement for her comments regarding premarital sex, the minister said that there was nothing wrong in advocating safe sex. Infact, he said that ''we need many more Kushboo's to talk about safe sex to the country's youth.'' However he also objected to the propagation of extramarital sex or sex before marriage.
He further stated that Indians have still not become open-minded about having discussions related to sex in general. He also denied against the issue of the PMK instigating protests against the actress and blamed the media for aggravating the issue. 'The PMK is in no way involved in the issue,' he said.
He also publicized the proposed efforts of the health ministry to introduce HIV awareness, population, environment and fitness issues in school education. In addition, he also said that is being planned to engage celebrities such as Aishwarya Rai, Shilpa Shetty, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan to talk about AIDS.
He highlighted the Government's ABC policy for HIV prevention, the first two components of which is A for abstinence and B for being faithful to your partner. Condom use is the third component. We would be able to go a long way in preventing the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the years to come if a strict adherence to the ABC policy is ensured.