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Advisor Bhatnagar addresses World AIDS Day programme at PPS GCW Gandhinagar

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‘Calls upon stakeholders to make it a firm resolve to eradicate stigma associated with AIDS’

JAMMU: Advisor to Lieutenant, Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar today remarked that that on this World AIDS Day we all should reiterate our commitment towards fighting this AIDS and eradicate this silent killer in our society.

The Advisor made these remarks while speaking during the World AIDS Day programme at Padmashree Padma Sachdev (PPS) Government P.G College for Women (GCW) Gandhinagar here.

The programme was organised by Jammu and Kashmir AIDS Control Society (JKACS) in collaboration with the Padmashree Padma Sachdev Government P.G College for Women under the theme ‘Equalise: Achieving Equity to End HIV’.

Addressing the large gathering of students, medical researchers, doctors, college faculty and other senior officers of health department, Advisor Bhatnagar said that we have come a long way in ensuring that an HIV infected person lives a productive life with hope and confidence and therefore it should be our firm resolve that we provide all possible handholding to the affected persons and help them live a normal life.

Speaking on the theme of this programme, Advisor Bhatnagar said that the theme emphasis on the message of equality and human rights and therefore we should be committed towards removing the stigma associated with this disease so that the affected persons come forward for testing and treatment and do not feel any kind of segregation from the society.

The Advisor maintained that a well established system has been put in place by the Government for affected persons and we all need to create awareness among them so that they can benefit from this system. He added that the prevention measures are very important for combating this disease and therefore we need to create maximum awareness among the masses about the same.

“Students have a great role to play in creating awareness among the people about the spread of this disease as well as reducing the stigmatisation associated with it”, Advisor Bhatnagar said.

The Advisor further said the launch of SOCH (Strengthening Overall Care for HIV beneficiaries) portal by JKACS is very significant step as it will help to track and record beneficiary service and inventory transactions in the National HIV program to improve service delivery and beneficiary health outcome. He also appealed to all concerned to make every effort to combat drug abuse addiction and needle use associated with it. He also commended the JKACS, health department and other volunteers for working in this sector and establishing an equitable society for the affected persons.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Health and Medical Education, Bhupinder Kumar said that access to healthcare is a challenge when it comes to AIDS and therefore affordable and equitable access to healthcare should be our main resolve while dealing with the issues of AIDS affected persons. He added that with timely awareness and right kind if treatment to affected persons, this disease will be combated to its larger extent.

The Secretary further said that with the advent of social media and digital world, an environment of information and awareness on prevention of AIDS can be created for better care of patients as well as for reducing their stigmatisation.

Addressing the gathering, Project Director, JKACS, J&K, Dr Samir Mattoo said that by celebrating World AIDS Day, we all have an opportunity to unite for fight against AIDS. In his address, he also highlighted the achievements of JKACS and infrastructure established by them for dealing with the issues of HIV infected persons across the J&K.

Remarkably, on the occasion, two AIDS survivors also spoke and expressed their journey of dealing with this disease. They complimented the JKACS for their timely support while dealing with this virus.

During the programme, Advisor Bhatnagar also e-launched the SOCH portal of JKACS which will help in better management of patients as well as improving the health care service delivery. The Advisor also distributed Baby Kits and other personal hygiene products among the children.

Director, Health services Jammu, Director AYUSH, J&K, Principal GMC, Jammu, Principals of newly established medical colleges, Additional CMO, JKACS, senior officers of health department, medical researchers, doctors, faculty of college and large number of students were present on the occasion.

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