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HIV Infected To Get Pensions with Physically Challenged

The Times of India


December 2, 2008




With the year 2008 marking the 20th anniversary of the World Aids Day, which falls on December 1, the infected population under anti-retroviral Therapy (ART) had news to cheer. 

Minister for health & family welfare, Sambhani Chandrasekhar, announced at the World Aids Day programme held at Ravindra Bharathi here on Monday that he would apprise the government on a pending proposal to give pensions at par with the physically challenged to the HIV-infected population under ART treatment. 

According to National Aids Control Organisation (Naco) estimates, Andhra Pradesh accounts for 22 per cent of the infected population in India with a population of 5.2 lakh being HIV positive. About 0.88 per cent of the population in the state is HIV infected. 

As per the data of Voluntary Confidential Counselling and Testing Centre (VCCTC), during 2000-2008 the confirmed HIV positives were 3.35 lakh out of the total 38,22,332 people who underwent tests at the testing centres. 

Besides, the data from the care and support centres of the AP State Aids Control Society (APSACS) for the period 2000 to 2008 shows that in AP 6,143 people died of Aids, of whom 231 were children. 

Nearly 3,000 individuals including members of the partner NGOs of APSACS, students from various colleges, the infected population and doctors gathered to throw light on and stop the Aids epidemic. 

A World Aids Day rally, with the message of `Lead, Empower, Deliver,' was taken out from Nizam College and it passed through Liberty and the Secretariat, culminating at Ravindra Bharathi where cultural programmes were organised. APSACS has planned a week-long programmes including competitions in the state.

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