August 8, 2014 …. Chief Minister, Shri Manohar Parrikar has exhorted the people of the State not to be a part of regressive society and urged them to join hands together to wipe out the dreaded killerHIV/AIDS, especially the stigma attached to the epidemic.

 Shri Parrikar was speaking at the Legislative Forum on HIV/AIDS organized by Goa State AIDS Control Society and Goa Legislative Assembly with the support of AIDS Control at Assembly Complex, Porvorim, today.

 Shri Parrikar citing the example of the recent incident at Rivona mentioned that common sense needs to be used to come out of the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS. Stressing the need to know why, how and through what it can or cannot be contradicted.  We need to be vigilant and arrest the spread of this disease which is spreading mostly due to ignorance, he added

 He further informed that Ebola is at the forefront of the major disease affecting the globe at present. Ebola is a disease in which the red cells busts internally taking human life instantly, he added.

 Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly, Shri Rajendra Arlekar speaking on the occasion underscored the need to change our thinking and have one’s own self control. He said, self control can do away with such illness while our positive thinking can bring a total change towards the affected people and show the way to others while pointing out that the problem lies with not the people who are infected but with people who are not infected with the disease.

 Health Minister, Shri Laxmikant Parsekar said it is the State dream to have zero new infections within 4-5 years time.  Goa being a literate state and the annual infective detentions being reduced every year can definitely be brought down, he remarked.

 Complimenting the GSACS for the wonderful job, the Health Minister said Goa has a total of 15484 people inflicted with HIV/AIDS infections has been having a reduction in fresh detention at 523 people from 1100 person every year since 2009-13.

 He stressed the need to create awareness among the Panchayat/School and rural areas.  The stigma/discrimination attached to such epidemic needs to go and we can do it in our own way by playing a small role of social responsibility, he said.

 Principal Secretary(Health), Shri Parimal Rai in his welcome and inaugural address gave the statistics of HIV/AIDS cases prevalent in all parts of Goa  Salcete(18.4%) Mormugao(12.8%) Tiswadi(11.5%) and Bardez(14.5%) highlighted the very basic step of delaying the inevitable, i.e prevention and then prolong our life through intervention  once infected. 

 Shri Rai called upon the people to play a role in prevention of HIV by sharing information and providing our support to people living with HIV/AIDS.

 Dy. Chief Minister, Shri Francis D’Souza; Minister for PWD, Shri Ramkrishna(Sudin) Dhavlikar; Co-operation Minister, Shri Pandurang(Deepak) Dhavlikar; Dy. Speaker, Shri Anand Shet; MLA’s, Dr. Pramod Sawant; Shri Rohan Khaunte; Shri Subhash Phal Dessai; Shri Ganesh Gaonkar; Dean, GMC, Dr. Pradeep Naik; Director, DHS, Dr. Sanjeev Dalvi Dr. Digamber Naik were amongst those prominent persons present on the occasion.

 The forum was held for the Legislative Members as the action by such members has helped immensely toreverse the HIV and AIDS epidemic in many countries around the globe.

 It was also felt that it helps to advocate for development of new schemes and amendment of existing policies/schemes to make them HIV sensitive apart from as opinion builders, raise HIV/AIDS related issues at public forum, in the meetings of various Districts/State/National committees of which they are members.

 Later, Dr. Madhu Sharma, Project Director gave a brief presentation on the various aspects, objectives and the role Legislative Members can play in removing the myths and misconceptions in the minds of the public about HIV/AIDS  the life threatening disease.