Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) observed World AIDS Day on December 1, 2015 at International Convention Centre, Kalakshetra, Guwahati. Welcoming the participants at the State-level function, Project Director, ASACS, Dhiraj Choudhury said, “The World AIDS Day which is observed on the 1st December every year gives an opportunity for people all over the globe to unite in the fight against HIV and extend our support for people living with HIV and this is the significance of the day. The theme for the year is - Getting to Zero-Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS-related Deaths.” He further spoke on the vulnerability of the HIV/AIDS menace in the state.
Speaking on the occasion noted social activist and writer Dr Akashitora said, “Life is a celebration but one has to be aware about the comas, colons, semi colons and even full stops. HIV/AIDS is such a menace that if it is transmitted in a human body it would halt the progress of the individual and humanity at large. A person can have complete freedom but he or she has to have absolute control over his life.” She also advocated for installation of condom vending machines at strategic locations across the state which is very much common in European countries. Dr Akashitora further added, “All awareness generating agencies must be geared up to such an extent that our region becomes the first HIV-free zone in the country.”
Noted actor Chetana Das in her speech said, “Life is precious and thus one should not hide his or her illness especially if it is caused by HIV virus. Thus people, especially those who indulges in high risk behaviour must go for HIV/AIDS testing.” The renowned comedy actor also batted for voluntary blood donation.
Noted Blood Transfusion Expert Dr BN Sarma, who was also present on the occasion spoke at length about the HIV/AIDS menace. Drugs Controller Gajen Talukdar also delivered his speech on HIV/AIDS prevalence in the state. ASACS Joint Director (IEC), Bonti Saikia delivered the vote of thanks.
The state-level function was preceded by a rally comprising of representatives from NGOs, civil societies, Red Ribbon Clubs from various colleges etc. The rally was flagged off by former world heavy weight champion Mahadeb Deka.
Some best performing service centres were also awarded in the event.
This year ASACS has selected the following for their best performance in the year 2014-15.
Integrated Counseling & Testing Centre (ICTC)
ICTC of Rupnath Brahma Civil Hospital, Kokrajhar
Parent to Child transmission Centre (PPCTC)
PPCT Centre of Guwahati Medical Collage & Hospital
Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)
STI clinic of Silchar Medical College & Hospital
Blood Bank of Tinsukia Civil Hospital
Anti-Retroviral Centre (ART)
SRL of JMCH, Jorhat
TI NGO Gharoa, Nagaon
The above performers have been rewarded with Rs 5 lakh each along with a certificate.