Youth urged to do their bit to combat HIV/AIDS

Kathmandu, November 30:

UNESCO Peer Education Programme-Nepal has asked the youth to take initiatives to minimise infection from HIV/AIDS urging policies that can reduce social discrimination against infected patients.

“Preventive, curative and awareness approach are the best remedies for minimising HIV/AIDS infection,” said Dipendra Bikram Thapa Secretary, Ministry of Education, at a programme organised by UNESCO. He urged organisations to come up with new concepts to help victims of HIV/AIDS and assured them that the government would help them in all its capacity.

The groups at a higher risk include intravenous drug-users, commercial sex workers and their clients, homosexuals, migrant labourers and their spouses.

Sashi Shah from UNESCO said, “The most potential group that can be infected is between the ages of 15 and 24 years. “Youth involvement is the most crucial factor underlying the accomplishment of the millennium project to combat AIDS,” he stressed. Dr Prabha Koirala from National Centre for AIDS and STD Control (NCASC) said, “HIV/AIDS is not solely a health issue but social, economical and political issue as well. The government, as well as the civil society, should make an open and comfortable environment to discuss safe sex.”

Pradip Paudel, president of the NSU, urged the government to formulate policies to protect the rights of HIV/AIDS patients.