HIV/AIDS tragedy likely in northern states: NACO

Asking north Indian states not to wait till the number of HIV/AIDS cases rise for taking preventive measures, the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) on Monday said respective governments in the region should take up proactive steps to control the epidemic or face a tragedy.

NACO Director General Sujatha Rao said many of the northern states, including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, were "not paying attention" to the organisation and warned that they were going towards a tragic end.

"We keep reminding the northern states which have a low prevalence rate that they should not wait for the numbers to rise to take steps to control it. We keep reminding them that they should not go the tragic way," Rao said.

The Financial Express

The NACO director general said the organisation was making serious efforts to address the problem but "we cannot go beyond what the system offers".

She was speaking at a seminar "Response to HIV/AIDS: Forging Partnership with the Media" here. Rao added that several awareness programmes like the ‘Red Ribbon Express’ touched a chord with the people of the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Oscar Fernandes, Union Labour Minister and member of a Parliamentary forum on HIV/AIDS, observed that "once you can handle Mumbai, you can handle AIDS in the country".

"One of the major reasons for AIDS in northern parts is people’s migration to Mumbai. The place is a major AIDS gateway. They return with the disease. If you can handle Mumbai (with preventive measures) effectively, you can handle it in the country," he said.

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