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Fresh recruits to face HIV test

india Updated: Aug 25, 2006 00:21 IST
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VICE ADMIRAL and Director General Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS) V K Singh on Thursday said the recruits to Indian armed forces would be tested for HIV.

The move is aimed at preventing the spread of HIV in the armed forces after reports of soldiers suffering from AIDS-related illnesses trickled in from different parts of the country.

“We want to keep our forces fighting fit. The test is one of most effective ways to keep HIV diseases away from the armed forces,” said the DG. As compared to AIDS patients 0.9 per cent in the country, the current strength of HIV patients in Armed forces is 0.028 per cent of the total strength of the armed forces, added the Vice Admiral. Suffering from AIDS is not a sin. But hiding it is a sin, he stated.

DG Singh felt that the deadly disease could be arrested provided it is detected at a very early stage.

The Vice Admiral was in the city to launch the renewed paramedic courses in the Army Medical Corps.

He said the tenure of the diploma course had been increased to two-and-a-half-year from two years. The course is has also affiliated to Uttar Pradesh State Medical Faculty.

“The affiliation would open job avenues for paramedics in their post-retirement period,” he said. As regards the Nuclear-Biological-Chemical warfare, he said the armed forced were 100 per cent ready to handle any NBC attack. But, he exhorted civil medical services to gear up for the NBC.

About the status of women in the Armed forces, the Vice Admiral said there was no discrimination among male and female officers.

He said the status of women in the Indian forces was much better than those in advanced countries like the UK and the USA.

“In UK a woman can rise up to only Lt Col level,” he said. On the implementation of Ajay Vikram Singh Committee Report, he said Phase I of the report has been implemented, while phase II awaited. On the issue of tanks of nurses in the Armed forces, he said the matter was with headquarters and being discussed.

On services of Armed forces abroad, he said the matter where to serve was the sole discretion of the government, while the “responsibility how to discharge our duties lies with us.”

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