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Indian Premier Urges Safe Sex for Youth on AIDS Day

December 1, 2005

Launching a national convention marking World AIDS Day today, India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged youths to learn about safe sex and HIV/AIDS in a bid to prevent losing control of the epidemic.

"You should comprehend the need to educate our young about the mode of transmission of this disease, and leading a healthy and safe sexual life is one of the commitments we must all make," said Singh. "This is particularly important given our traditional inhibitions about discussing such matters within our families and among our colleagues, quite apart from doing so in public."

"Our government is committed to providing leadership to the national AIDS control efforts… and to start with, I do believe that this program needs to get out of the narrow confines of the health department," said Singh. "If we do so, we could upscale our efforts to the desired levels within a minimum period of time and we have no time to waste."

"Do not add stigma to the disease," Sonia Gandhi, ruling Congress Party president, appealed to a New Delhi AIDS rally attended by thousands of students, AIDS activists and Bollywood entertainers. An HIV rights bill "has been drafted by lawyers collectively, and deals with various issues such as discrimination, confidentiality, right to treatment, care and support," said Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal. "I hope the government will take action on it soon."

The government will increase the number of screening centers from 40 nationwide to 150 in order to accelerate testing, said Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss.

Back to other news for December 1, 2005

Adapted from:
Agence France Presse

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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