World AIDS Day Commemorated in Assam

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Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare with the Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of Assam inaugurated the World AIDS Day event. This event was held on December 1, 2023 in Guwahati, Assam.

The event, aligned with this year’s theme, “Let Communities Lead,” provided a platform for reflection on India’s journey in combating HIV/AIDS and the pivotal role communities play in the nation’s response.

Addressing the audience, the Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare commended the resilience of communities in transforming the narrative from fear to discipline in the battle against HIV/AIDS. He emphasized that while there is now reduced fear among the people regarding the disease, vigilance must persist. The Minister acknowledged the critical role played by common citizens in this fight, underscoring the need for continued awareness and preventive measures.

The Union Minister lauded the the ongoing Phase V of the National AIDS and STD Control program and the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act, 2017. The Act reinforces human rights for HIV patients and combats discrimination in society.

Distributing Ayushman Cards to beneficiaries, the Minister commended Assam’s achievement in distributing the highest number of Ayushman Cards among large states.

Furthermore, the Country Director of UNAIDS stressed the pivotal role of communities in the HIV response, noting that community-led organizations deliver results that other actors cannot achieve. He commended India’s national AIDS response, citing it as a global example of commitment and strategic action, leading to transformative initiatives like the HIV AIDS Control Act and Test and Treat Policy.

The WHO representative to India also addressed the gathering virtually, applauding India’s remarkable achievements, including a 76.5 percent decline in annual AIDS-related deaths and a 46.3 percent decline in annual new HIV infections since 2010.

The event witnessed the release and launch of various documents, including the SANKALAK report, India HIV Estimates 2022, NACO Calendar 2024, National Communication Strategy, Laboratory Technical Guidelines on Early Infant Diagnosis, Prevention Progress Update 2022-23, and a Research Compendium.

Numerous stalls showcasing programmatic achievements and interventions were displayed, alongside a blood donation camp that received enthusiastic participation. The event’s live streaming on NACO’s YouTube channel ensured widespread access to vital information and discussions surrounding World AIDS Day.

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