A joint operation by the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) and the
Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports have launched a 5-year Youth Unite
for Victory on AIDS (YUVA) plan aimed at reaching out to adolescents and youth.
YUVA wants to ensure that by 2010 all youth have accurate information, skills,
and access to HIV prevention services and facilities in a conducive, safe and
In his inaugural address, Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat said the
speed of spread of HIV/AIDS has assumed epidemic proportions and should wake up
policy planners and public health administrators to do some “out-of-the-box”
thinking to evolve innovative and effective measures. Shekhawat said that the
HIV/AIDS epidemic has been the "most serious public health problem faced by the
country since independence."
Shekhawat also called for a mission-mode effort to generate awareness of
HIV/AIDS as prevention is the key to dealing with the epidemic. He also wanted
special programs to address the 260 million people living below the poverty
line (BPL) because their deprivation, disease, and illiteracy will make them
soft targets of infection as nutritional deficiencies hastened the spread of