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State observes World AIDS Day

Minister for Health & Family Welfare Kuzholuzo Nienu (R) inaugurating the photo exhibition on AIDS. (NP)
Correspondent KISAMA, DEC 1 (NPN):
Published on 2 Dec. 2008 12:41 AM IST
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State health and family welfare minister, Kuzholuzho (Azo) Neinu said that the government of Nagaland was committed in its fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The government will take up the fight on a war footing, Azo said while inaugurating the Photos of Hope as part of the World AIDS Day observation under the theme “Stop AIDS, keep the promise” and the opening of the Red Ribbon Pavilion at Kisama, Monday. Stating that the state has made a landmark achievement in the fight against the menace, he said there was still much to be done. He pointed out the advancement in the treatment and care of HIV and said the PLHIVs were living healthier and normal life today. Deputy Director, US Consulate General, Kolkata, Moulik D Berkana in his keynote address said the US Government has chosen the theme “Celebrating Life” for special focus this year and that the country was celebrating life in this spirit. Commenting on the Photos of Hope exhibition, he said the photos depicted how people courageously celebrate life and prove that seemingly impossible things were possible. Berkana called upon every one to ensure that there was no stigma attached to PLHIVs. “Whether this is in the school or at college, at work, within the community, the family … just anywhere, you too ‘Celebrate Life’,” he said. He pointed out that the US in 2003 had initiated the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and gave the largest commitment ever by a nation to combat a single disease. Under PEPFAR, India received $166.4 million starting from 2004 to 2008 and would receive an additional amount of $30 million in 2009 to support an integrated HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care program. In Nagaland, the US government in collaboration with the Project Concern International and its local partner Akimbo Society has initiated a community and home based care and support program for people living with HIV/AIDS in Dimapur covering 500 PLHIVs in 25 community areas. As part of the three-day Photos of Hope exhibition jointly organized by the US Consulate, Kolkata, Nagaland State AIDS Control Society and Naga Mother’s Association, series of programmes including Photo Exhibition, Awareness program through puppet shows, screening of films, inter-college and open quiz competitions will be held during December 1 to 3.

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