AIDS helpline launched in 8 languages
India launched a toll-free helpline number -- 1097 -- on Monday, to answer queries related to HIV/AIDS. The helpline number, which has been developed in collaboration with USAID, will be functional 24X7 and will be available in eight regional languages.india Updated: Dec 02, 2014 09:10 IST
India launched a toll-free helpline number — 1097 — on Monday, to answer queries related to HIV/AIDS. The helpline number, that has been developed in collaboration with USAID, will be functional 24X7 and will be available in eight regional languages.
India has 2.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS, with new HIV infections down by 57% and AIDS-related deaths down by 25% over the past decade.
“Today is a day for deep thinking and introspection. It is a day when we gauge how far we have come in our fight against the disease, what are our shortcomings and how do we, as a nation, collectively fill this gap,” said Union health minister JP Nadda, on the occasion of World AIDS Day.
“It is not only the fight of the patients, doctors and scientists. It needs to be team effort involving all stakeholders, families and communities who must unite in helping those inflicted with HIV+ and AIDS to live a life of dignity, free from any stigma,” he said.
The minister emphasized on aiming to achieve zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths by raising awareness and boosting preventive methods.
“Youth can be the champions in spreading awareness about AIDS which will go a long way to prevent it. Know AIDS for No AIDS,” said Lov Verma, secretary, ministry of health and family welfare.
The health ministry has signed MoUs with 11 ministries for creating awareness about AIDS, while five more are in the pipeline.
International organizations too lauded India for its achievements in containing AIDS. “India has made significant achievement in prevention, treatment and care of those inflicted with the disease. India, thus, has set a regional and global example,” said Oussama Tawil, country coordinator, UNAIDS India.