India Intelligence Report

   AIDS Campaign Launched



  • Major AIDS campaign launched under Sports Ministry

  • 8 organizations with 22 million members to lead awareness campaign

  • Health Ministry does not participate

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 supportive environment.

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 AIDS.

The YUVA campaign will be conducted by eight youth organizations having a collective membership of over 22 million. Surprisingly, the campaign was launched by the Youth and Sports Ministry and looks like the Health Ministry was not part of this campaign.