NGO launches ‘Love Condom’ campaign to stop HIV infection

July 18th, 2009 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) With 2.5 million people living with HIV infection in India, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) Saturday launched a ‘Love Condom and Stay Negative’ campaign to make people aware about measures to prevent and control AIDS.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) under the campaign has decided to distribute one million free condoms to people besides motivating them to come voluntarily for HIV infection tests.

The campaign was launched by the AHF-India brand ambassador and actor Ronit Roy here.

“Condoms are the only affordable and preventable tools to prevent HIV infection. Efforts are being made to encourage the widespread use of condoms, community testing and universal access to antiretroviral treatment that can help in bringing down new infection drastically,” said Teri Ford, senior global policy director, AHF.

The campaign aims to foster a public-private partnership for a vaster reach.

M. Ayyappan, chairman and managing director Hindustan Latex Ltd (HLL), the largest condom producer in the country said that only 5.3 percent people use condoms in India despite HIV infection spreading at am alarming rate in the country.

“Buying condoms continues to be a stigma in our country. The launch of the free condom campaign will enable millions in the country to stay protected from HIV infection,” said Ayyappan.

Emphasising on the need to bring behavioural change in society, Padmavati, who runs an NGO for people living with HIV, said: “A major goal of the campaign is to help guide a shift in thinking around HIV testing. With the straightforward message, our hope is that the initiative will lead people to see HIV testing as a necessary and routine part of their health care.”

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