A total of 412 delegates including doctors, para-medical staff, social scientists, public health experts and students attended a conference, 'Aids-con-4' at Panjab University on Friday.
Chief guest KB Agarwal, joint secretary, ministry of health and family welfare, inaugurated the meet. In his address, he stressed on the need to increase the use of information technology in implementing the Aids control programmes.
This will facilitate retrieval of real and actual data which will give the true picture of the HIV epidemic in the country. He also stressed on the need to use the Aadhar card number as an ID to avoid duplication in registrations of patients across the country.
He also shared, "The NACO has been able to bring down the price of the viral load test kits which earlier cost Rs 1250 per test to Rs 600 per test. This will help to reach this facility to all the HIV positive patients."
UT home secretary Anil Kumar deliberated on the issue of stigma and discrimination attached to certain sections of the community.
He informed, "The transgender community, which has been marginalised by the society, should be absorbed in the mainstream of life. The public should change their mind set towards them. The Chandigarh administration will attempt to provide employment opportunity to those from this community who are interested and have the required skills."
The other dignitaries James Robertson, executive director, HIV/AIDS Alliance and Dr OPS Kande, Punjab Medical Council, appreciated the work done by the Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society.
The sessions on the management of sexually transmitted infections, care support and treatment, blood safety and various research papers read by delegates brought out the updates on the HIV/AIDS programme.