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AP: Statewide awareness drive on AIDS today

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , July 29

MARKING the completion of the month-long AASHA (AIDS Awareness and Sustained Holistic Awareness) campaign, the State Government is taking up a series of programmes on Saturday all over the State.

A national level programme will be held at Kotla Vijayabhaskara Reddy Stadium in Yousufguda on Saturday.

Thousands of college students and volunteers would take out rallies from different locations to educate people on the fast spreading disease.

Leading film actors and actress would flag off the rallies.

Students and volunteers would carry umbrellas, symbolising the need for protecting oneself from acquiring the disease.

Announcing the details of the programme here on Thursday, Mr K. Rosaiah, Minister for Finance and Health, said Union Ministers Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, Mr Oscar Fernandez and Ms Panabaka Lakshmi would take part in the programme.

The Centre is sponsoring the programme at Hyderabad, while the State Government would take care of other events in districts.

Dr Ramdoss would flag off `AASHA Vahini', a caravan of specially decorated vehicles that would touch 250 towns in 30 days.

These vehicles would take 10 different routes to cover the towns.

During the month-long programme, APSACS (AP State AIDS Control Society) organised 17,104 grama sabhas (village meetings) and opened similar number of information centres.

In all, four lakh people attended these meetings. The society planned a `sentinel surveillance study' after the completion of AASHA.

The study, which would begin on August 1, would identify at least one good diagnostic centre in each district to conduct `sentinel surveillance' to estimate HIV prevalence in private sector.

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