Growing menace

Published: Friday 31 July 1998

an estimated 3.5 million people in India are infected with the acquired immune-deficiency syndrome ( aids), according to the World Health Organisation and the United Nations aids Programme. About 2.4 per cent of the population in Maharashtra, and 1.2-1.6 per cent in the southern states and Manipur are infected with hiv. The Union health ministry would soon come out with a more acceptable figure after epidemiological surveillance on aids is completed across the country.

In India, the disease is spreading very fast because of highly migratory nature of population from one part of the country to another in search of employment, according to the Union health minister Dalit Ezhimalai.

The Union government is now planning to formulate a national policy for prevention and control of the deadly disease. The policy will also address the issue of protection of human rights of people with hiv/aids. Today, the development of a safe, efficient and affordable vaccine is the need of the hour. The disease claims an estimated 16,000 new victims every day and has already killed more than 11 million across the world.

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