World AIDS Day: Bengal tops in preventing parent to child HIV transmission
Kolkata: Awareness campaigns to prevent AIDS was observed in the city on Saturday to mark World AIDS Day.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: "Today is #World AIDS Day. I am happy to share with all of you that as per the assessment done by #NACO for 'Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission of HIV' programme for 2017-18, #Bangla has emerged No. 1 in the country. This programme provided benefits to 16.5 lakh pregnant women in the state in prevention of transmission of HIV to the newborn and also provided free of cost treatment to those found HIV positive #World AIDS Day."
Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, an NGO that works with sex workers, held rallies in different red light areas including Sonagachi, the biggest red light area in Bengal. The educators urged people to conduct HIV screening tests. The participants carried posters to spread awareness.
Medical Bank carried awareness programmes in slums and red light areas.
D Ashis, secretary of the organisation, said awareness against AIDS is required as even the educated people are not aware of the disease.
He said AIDS is transmitted through syringe and blood transfusion and the disease is not contagious.
He regretted that in the School of Tropical Medicine there are AIDS patients who have been deserted by their family and relatives who have stopped visiting them because they consider the disease to be a social stigma.
It may be mentioned that in Sonagachi the number of HIV positive cases has been drastically brought down because of sustained campaigns.