HIV/AIDS issues addressed on National Youth Day in Palampur



Palampur: HIV/AIDS were the hot topic at the The National Youth Day (January 12), celebrated here by the Youth Information Centre.

National Youth Day is celebrated on January 12, every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda (1863). The philosopher has since then remained an inspiration for the youth and an embodiment of Indian culture and intelligence.

Apprising the youth on HIV/AIDS, Dr Anup, Nodal Officer, Palampur, said that HIV/AIDS is a problem of youth and leading cause of death among 15-24 years old persons world wide. He informed that a Youth Information Centre was established at CSKHPKV, Palampur in 2007 to increase awareness and social responsibility among the youth about HIV/AIDS and other problems of youth.

Dr Rajesh Sood (Epidemiologist) elaborated on the global and local relevance of HIV/AIDS as a public health priority. AIDS affects the youth, the productive section of society and is the leading cause of death among 15-49 years age group globally. He added that India has 2.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS and urgent measures are needed to stop this epidemic. The 2006 estimates of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), supported by UNAIDS and WHO, indicate that national adult HIV prevalence in India is approximately 0.36%. India stands third, next to South Africa and Nigeria in terms of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Dr Sood said that in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, the first case of HIV/AIDS was detected in 1992. According the HP State AIDS Control Society there are 1,930 people known to be living with HIV and 397 with AIDS in the state. There are 408 positive cases from the district who have been detected in the VCTC of which 62% are male. Most of the positives are of the age group 15-45.

On the occasion of National Youth Day-2008, the Youth Information Centre organised a film show “Badalti Soch” and workshop for NSS volunteers in collaboration with District Health Department.

Dr R K Sood, discussed the various aspects and sensitised the youth at the NSS Special Camp at Bindraban.

UNAIDS estimates that, by the end of 2007, a total of 30 million people had died of AIDS over the globe since it was first recognized in 1981. The total number of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus HIV globally stands at 33.2 million, double the number (19.9 million) in 1995. In 2007 alone, 2.5 million people were newly infected (an average of more than 6 800 new infections each day) and 2.1 million people lost their lives (over 5 700 deaths each day) due to AIDS over the world. Young people 15-24 years old account for half the new infections. Dr Ram Lal NSS Programme officer told that 38 students participated in the camp and learnt the spirit of Service.

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