Raipur. Health Minister T.S. Singhdeo honoured the officers, employees, government departments, institutions, committees, industrial establishments and voluntary organizations doing excellent work for the control and prevention of AIDS and HIV on the occasion of World AIDS Day today. He honoured a total of 53 individuals and institutions by presenting their certificates and mementoes in a function organized in the convention hall of Naveen Vishram Bhawan, Civil Lines. Dr Alok Shukla, Principal Secretary, Health Department, Director, Health Services and Project Director of Chhattisgarh State AIDS Control Committee, Neeraj Bansod and Additional Project Director Dr SK. Binjhwar was also present at the event.
Addressing the felicitation function organized by the Chhattisgarh State AIDS Control Committee, Health Minister said that HIV-AIDS victims should be treated without discrimination. Like ordinary citizens, they also have all the rights given by the constitution. He said that Chhattisgarh is the third state in the country with a Lokpal to redress the grievances of HIV patients. HIV-AIDS victims are being linked to various social security schemes.
T S Singhdeo said that the state government is sensitive towards public health. 150 counselling and testing centres and eight ART centres are operating in the state for HIV-AIDS victims. Three more ART centres will start soon. He said that the control and prevention of AIDS and HIV is a challenge. Many people are unaware of their HIV status. Such people need voluntary counselling and guidance. He expressed his gratitude to all the people and organizations honoured today for their cooperation in the control and prevention of AIDS. He also appealed to work towards voluntary blood donation. He expressed hope that you will continue to get cooperation in the fight against AIDS, and we will be successful in increasing blood donation in rural areas as well.
Director, Health Services and Project Director of Chhattisgarh State AIDS Control Committee, Neeraj Bansod, said that this year World AIDS Day is being celebrated all over the world on the theme of 'End Inequality, End AIDS, End Epidemic'. Chhattisgarh State AIDS Control Committee is taking steps under the guidance of NACO for the control and prevention of AIDS. The rate of spread of AIDS in the state has come down by six times. The number of its possible victims in the state is 45 thousand. We are providing essential services to 30 thousand of these people. Along with field activities, people are constantly being made aware of this through IEC and social media. Red Ribbon Club has been formed in 150 colleges of the state to increase awareness among the youth.