India praised for its efforts to tackle HIV/AIDS by UN coordinator

Guwahati: The United Nations resident coordinator, who was present during a two-day seminar, which was recently organized here to raise awareness and sensitise people about HIV/AIDS, has praised India for its efforts to fight the disease.

UN coordinator Lisa Grande lauded the efforts of the Indian government to reach out to those suffering from the disease and reduce the stigma.

"I think India is one of the countries in the world that has done best in dealing with HIV AIDS. The reason for that is that the prevalence rate has gone down. People who are living with HIV are receiving free medicines and very good services. And there has been a major campaign stretching across the country to reduce stigma," said Lisa.

The event " North East Regional Consultation on HIV/AIDS" was organised by the Forum of Parliamentarians at ITA complex in Guwahati recently. The event was attended by chief ministers of Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

An HIV positive woman from Mizoram, recounted the ordeals she had to face, and appreciated the steps taken by the government and various organizations for HIV affected people.

"I received lot of support from my community. Today, I see there is no discrimination in the Northeast. It has reduced now. I am very happy that we have a safe space in the Northeast," she said.

An estimated 2.4 million people in India are suffering from HIV AIDS, with states like Manipur and Andhra Pradesh being the worst affected.

In 1992, the National AIDS control organization was set up under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to prevent the occurrence of the disease and to ensure that the affected have access to quality health services.

Steps are constantly being taken to tackle the threat posed by the disease.