Pension for AIDS patients in Andhra


Hyderabad : Andhra Pradesh will pay pension to HIV positive/AIDS patients in the state.

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Minister for Health and Family Welfare S. Chandrasekhar Monday said the pension would be paid to 40,000 people suffering from HIV/AIDS and undergoing treatment at anti-retroviral therapy (ART) centres.

The minister said the move was aimed at boosting the morale of the patients, who were already facing social stigma. He was addressing a programme organised here to mark World AIDS Day.

Though the minister did not specify the amount, officials said the government planned to pay a monthly pension of Rs.200 each to the families of HIV positive/AIDS patients.

Patients receiving ATR medicines would also be provided with ‘Sahara’ identity cards, which would help them access various benefits like concessions for travel and priority in housing schemes.

The minister launched AIDS awareness programme ‘Mee Nestam’, which would focus on HIV/AIDS as a social problem.

The state has an estimated 525,000 HIV/AIDS-infected persons.

According to R.V. Chandravadan, project director, Andhra Pradesh AIDS Control Society, 90,000 of the infected people were diagnosed last year.

The state is leading in efforts in HIV/AIDS prevention and control and this has brought down the HIV prevalence from two percent to 0.88 percent.

Rallies, meetings and awareness programmes marked World AIDS Day in the state. Various stakeholders in AIDS control programmes took out a rally here.

In a unique move, the AIDS Control Society also organised a ‘kavi sammelan’ (poetry session) as effort to spread awareness about the disease in the literary mode.