SAARC HIV AIDS Goodwill Ambassador Ajay Devgn Celebrates the Spirit of Youth on National Youth Day 2015
Takes a Special Pledge with over 800 Youth to Highlight Key Issues
Special Theme for 2015 - 'Youngmanch' with the slogan 'Hum Se Hai Nayi Shuruaat'
Mumbai, January 12, 2105 -- Today, on the occasion of National Youth Day 2015 SAARC HIV AIDS Campaign Goodwill Ambassador Ajay Devgn will take a Special Pledge for youth with over 800 Youth of Mumbai and senior dignitaries and representatives from the Government of India.
National Youth Day is observed annually on 12 January on the birthday of Swami Vivekananda. In 1984, the Government of India declared the day as the National Youth Day and since 1985 the event is celebrated in India every year.
Every year, National Youth Day offers a special opportunity to the Government of India and its collaborating partners to draw attention to the burning issues confronting the youth of our country today. The youth of today are faced with several issues amongst which one of the critical issues is AIDS and its prevention.
Concerts, exhibitions, mass level talks , workshops, seminars, youth rallies, educational cultural events and meetings which involve national and local governments , youth organisations etc. will take place today across the country on several themes concerning the Youth.
The theme that has been specially decided by NACO for this year's National Youth Day programme is'Youngmanch' with the slogan 'Hum Se Hai Nayi Shuruaat'.
Background: The Youth of today often experience discrimination which can lead to exclusion and/or discourage people from seeking help for fear of being negatively labeled. What is the need of the hour is to provide them with sources of authentic information and encourage them to help others who are faced with similar challenges.
Specially with HIV-AIDS which is often considered a taboo, inculcating the right attitude towards HIV/AIDS and sharing the right knowledge with youth will help them choose the right and safe options and help them lead a healthy life. After all, we all recognize the potential of the youth as important partners in today's global society.
Mr. Sanjay Deshmukh, Additional Municipal Commissioner (W.S.) said, "Mumbai Districts AIDS Control Society has been implementing various strategies for prevention, control and care support for HIV Infected people in Mumbai. At present they have set up over 114 ICTCs i.e. Counselling and Testing Centres , 27 STD clinics and 14 ART Centres and are supporting 23 Government/Municipal and Trust Blood Banks . MDACS is currently undertaking Targeted Intervention (TI) projects with 48 NGOs that specifically address High Risk Groups (HRG) viz. Commercial Sex Workers (CSWs), Men Having Sex with Men (MSMs) including Transgender (TG) and Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) and Bridge Population like Migrant Workers and Truckers. More than 30,000 patients are provided free of cost anti-retroviral treatment in Mumbai."
Addressing the youth in the audience and special attendees, Dr. Deepak Sawant, Hon. Minister Health & Family Welfare said, "On this National Youth Day, I would like to highlight that the youth is a valuable national asset and they comprise of 25% of our total population. As per National records, amongst HIV infected people, 31% belong to 15-29 years age group. I would also like to end with another quote of Swami Vivekananda that will serve as a very inspiring message for our Youth today -- "FORWARD! We want only infinite energy, infinite zeal, infinite courage and infinite patience ,then only will great things be achieved."
The Chief Guest and Chairperson, Smt. Snehal Ambekar, Hon. Mayor Mumbai, said, "Today the youth is confronted with several challenges on all fronts, be it academics and, with the rise of new age media like social media the communications gap is only widening between students themselves, teachers and their students between parents and their children. The use of drugs is escalating. Today the youth are confused with their own sexuality; they sometime do not know the difference between infatuation and real love. We see a growng incidence of gender violence around us all leading to an increase in risk behaviour."
Ajay Devgn, SAARC Goodwill Ambassador said that HIV/AIDS is one of the important diseases that India is fighting against. And, it is good to note that India could keep HIV to a very low level.
HIV is an infection, from which we can protect ourselves, by having correct knowledge about the modes of HIV transmission and methods of prevention. India has also focused on empowering youth with correct and complete information and services to enable them protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. Today, we are celebrating the birthday of Swami Vivekananda as the National Youth Day.
JS, NACO Mr. K.B. Agrawal said that he strongly believes that effective engagement of youth in social development and nation-building is not a matter of discourse, but is a vision to be realised. The approach has to be translated into practical strategies and activities that can be implemented and evaluated. Under the National AIDS Control Programme, we have consciously involved the youth in the planning and execution of HIV/AIDS activities. All States in India have the position of Assistant Director (Youth Affairs) . This position has sole responsibility of addressing all the Youth needs of the State pertaining to HIV. At present we have more than 14,000 Red Ribbon Clubs across India. These clubs involve youth in various activities like voluntary blood donation etc.
Dr. S.C. Verma, Director, SAARC Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS Centre said that SAARC has always been a strong support pillar in minimising the mortality and morbidity due to TB and HIV/AIDS in the region and minimising the transmission of both infections until TB and HIV/AIDS disease to be major public health problems in the SAARC Region. It is strongly felt that the need of the hour is to motivate and sensitize the youth for making better choices to have a healthy and productive life always.
Dr. Naresh Goel, Deputy Director General (LS/IEC) extended his sincere and heartfelt thanks to BMC and MDACS for organising the event successfully and SAARC in coming forward for their support. He specially thanked Ajay Devgn for gracing the event and motivating the Red Ribbon Club Members present there and giving his inspiring message to the youth of the nation. DDG also said he was grateful to all the Ministers for gracing the event with their presence.
· Chief Guest and Chairperson, Smt. Snehal Ambekar, Hon. Mayor Mumbai
· Special Guest , Dr. Deepak Sawant, Hon. Minister, Health & Family Welfare
· Special Guest, Shri. Ramdas Kadam, Hon. Minister, Environment
· Special Guest, Shri. Ashish Shelar, President B.J.P. Mumbai and M.L.A.
· Special Guest, Mr. Ajay Devgn, Actor and Hon. Ambassador (SAARC)
· Special Guest, Shri. Ram Shinde, Hon. Minister of State, Home (Rural), Marketing, Public Health, Tourism
· Hon. Guest, Smt. Alka Kerkar, Hon. Dy. Mayor, Mumbai
· Hon. Guest, Ms. Poonam Mahajan, Member of Parliament
· Shri. Sitaram Kunte, Hon. Municipal Commissioner
· Ms. Sujata Sounik, Principal Health Secretary, Maharashtra
· Dr. S. C. Verma, Director, SAARC Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS Centre (STAC)
· Mr. K.B. Agrawal, Joint Secretary, NACO
· Dr. Naresh Goel, Deputy Director General (LS/IEC)
· Mr. Sanjay Deshmukh, Additional Municipal Commissioner (W.S.)
· Mr. Khushalsinh Pardeshi, Project Director, MSACS
· Mrs. Dr. Padmaja Keskar, Executive Health Officer & Project Director, MDACS
About NATIONAL AIDS CONTROL ORGANISATION (NACO)
National AIDS Control Organisation is a division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that provides leadership to HIV/AIDS control programme in India through 38 HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Societies. In 1986, following the detection of the first AIDS case in the country, the National AIDS Committee was constituted in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Since then, NACO has been consistently working for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS in India and care support and treatment of people infected and affected by AIDS. NACO, at present is implementing fourth phase of National AIDS Control Programme. The achievements of NACO in bringing down the HIV infection in India has been acclaimed world wide.
About MUMBAI DISTRICTS AIDS CONTROL SOCIETY (MDACS)
Mumbai Districts AIDS Control Society (MDACS) is an autonomous body registered under the Charitable Trust Act. It was established on the 27th of July 1998 in Mumbai by the MCGM for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment activities. It falls under the guidance of National AIDS Control Organisation. The recent data shows a declining trend in HIV positivity amongst general population from 8.3% in 2009 to 4% in 2013 and among pregnant women from 0.58% in 2009 to 0.28% in 2013.
"Arise! Awake! And Stop not, till the goal is reached"
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FACT SHEET: HIV Epidemic and Response in India
§ In order to control the spread of HIV/AIDS, the Government of India is implementing the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) as a 100% centrally sponsored scheme. NACP Phase-IV (2012-17) aims to reduce new HIV infections and provide comprehensive care, support and treatment to all people living with HIV (PLHIV) through five pronged strategy of (i) intensifying & consolidating prevention services with a focus on High Risk Groups & vulnerable population (ii) increasing access & promoting comprehensive care, support & treatment for PLHIV (iii) expanding IEC services with a focus on behavior change & demand generation (iv) building capacities at national, state and district levels and (v) strengthening the Strategic Information Management Systems.
§ The number of people living with HIV in India has stabilized over the past few years because of reduced number of new HIV infections and reduced AIDS-related deaths.
§ Number of new HIV infections is reported to have been reduced by 57% from 2000 to 2011.
§ Number of AIDS related deaths are reported to have declined by about 25% annually from 2000 due to scale up of antiretroviral treatment.
§ By the beginning of2015, nearly 810,000 people living with HIV were receiving free first line antiretroviral treatment and 10,000 were receiving second line treatment.
§ Increased government commitment on AIDS is reflected by greater domestic resource contribution to the National AIDS Control Program (NACP) IV, 2012-17.
̶ Domestic resources will now cover around 63% of the overall proposed budget for the current NACP IV— a notable increase from the 12% domestic allocation of resources for NACP III.
§ A critical recent policy decision was the adoption of the 2013 WHO Treatment Guidelines with announcement by Government of its immediate roll-out in all states.
̶ Building on the provision of multi-drug regimen for the prevention of parent to child transmission (PPTCT)of HIV in three states (September 2012-13), on January 1 2014 India released a new national strategy and national guidelines for implementing the multi-drug regimen and country-wide implementation plan.
§ 246 new Targeted Interventions (TI) in 2013-14 & 39 new TIs in 2014-15 were established, taking the total to 1,833 TIs that provide HIV prevention services to Female Sex Workers, Men who have Sex with Men, Injecting Drug Users, migrants & truckers. Interventions for migrant labour in informal sector through employer-led model and exclusive transgender interventions have been launched. Link Worker Scheme is operational in 138 districts of India to provide HIV prevention services to vulnerable groups in rural areas.
§ 68 lakh STI/RTI patients during 2013-14 and 41.1 lakh during 2014-15 were treated through 1,136 STI/RTI clinics, branded as ‘Suraksha Clinics’.
§ 56.45 crores pieces of condoms during 2013-14 and 42.2 crore pieces during 2014-15 were distributed through social marketing. 33.6 crore pieces of condom during 2013-14 and 15.81 crore pieces during 2014-15 were distributed free.
§ 57.48 lakh blood units during 2013-14 & 33.16 lakh units during 2014-15 were collected across the country through 1,137 NACO supported blood banks, 82.57% of this was through voluntary blood donation. New Plasma Policy was announced to enhance rational use of blood and plasma derivatives for various health conditions.
§ 130.30 lakh general clients & 97.52 lakh pregnant women during 2013-14 and 68.93 lakh general clients & 51.07 lakh pregnant women during 2014-15 have been provided free counseling & testing services for HIV through 18,018 Integrated Counseling & Testing Centres.
§ India is committed to work towards elimination of new HIV infections among children. 92% HIV positive pregnant women detected and their babies received ARV prophylaxis for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV.
§ 8.12 lakh People living with HIV are receiving free Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) through 448 ART centres & 987 Link ART centres. 325 Care and support centres (CSC) are functional to provide a range of psychosocial services to PLHIV.
§ 9 mass media campaigns during 2013-14 & 3 during 2014-15 have been launched through TV & Radio on various thematic areas. 800 new Red Ribbon Clubs during 2013-14 & 459 during 2014-15 have been formed in colleges & schools. Under mainstreaming, around 1.58 lakh personnel were trained from various departments at State & District level.
§ New Plasma Policy was announced to enhance rational use of blood and plasma derivatives for various health conditions.
§ National Helpline was launched to facilitate easy dissemination of information related to HIV/AIDS to general public in all Indian languages.
§ Computerised Inventory Management System was launched to strengthen the supply chain management system of Anti Retroviral Drugs, enhance efficient use of the drugs and minimize wastages across the country.
§ National HIV/AIDS Resource Centre was launched as a one-stop source for all the information related to HIV to general public, students, doctors, researchers and programme managers.
Ongoing challenges and emerging trends
§ While the HIV epidemic has stabilized in states where HIV was earlier concentrated in the past few years (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland and Tamil Nadu), it is rising in certain low prevalence states and districts.
§ In view of the sustained need for prevention and growing treatment needs, the challenge is to ensure a balance between the two and appropriately bring in resource efficiency
§ India’s extensive scale-up and coverage of HIV prevention services for key populations at high risk of infection is globally recognized. Efforts are being undertaken to build on lessons learned from this scale-up to ensure more effective services in the future.
Created Especially by NACO for the Youth of India
"I hereby solemnly swear that as the Youth of the Nation, to understand and do good to the society and self. To think before I act, and always reflect on my actions. I swear to contemplate the deeds around me and judge what is best for me in terms of mental, physical, social and psychological health and well being. I swear to abide by this oath and spread the same spirit within my peers to be safe, secure, and aware and grow as a global citizen of my country."
"On the occasion on National Youth Day, I further pledge to solemnly swear to "Arise! Awake! And stop not, till the goal is reached" - going as by the ideals of Swami Vivekananda.