Since the HIV/AIDS
affliction is mostly in the productive age group of
18 to 40, this could have grim consequences for our
economy. Already, half of the new infections in India
are in this age group. Business and industry must take
a hard and urgent note of this reality and act to increase
awareness about AIDS and spread the message about its
For AIDS is
preventable. You cannot prevent a common cold, but yes,
you can prevent AIDS by taking precautions. HIV is transmitted
through unprotected sex with an infected person, transfusion
of infected blood and blood products, use of contaminated
needles and syringes, and from an infected mother to
her child via birth, and also through breast feeding
by infected mothers. AIDS is preventable through awareness.
Awareness is the key to prevention.
we put all our efforts to increase voluntary blood donation
and meet the shortage of blood, we will not be able
to achieve total blood safety in the country. I urge
all of you to involve yourself in promotion of voluntary
blood donation campaigns in your areas or constituencies
and motivate the younger sections of society to make
voluntary blood donation a habit. Donating blood is
a healthy habit. It is also a redeeming habit. Millions
of HIV positive persons and AIDS sufferers are afraid
to talk or seek medical help because they are burdened
with undue guilt and stigma. Million more Indians, hundreds
of thousands of worried families want to know more about
HIV/AIDS but are afraid to ask. Awareness is the only
weapon we have today against AIDS. There is no single
strategy for creating awareness. We must use every available
medium of communication to spread the message across
the country whether it is electronic media, print media
and even the folk media. We also need to relentlessly
search for an anti-HIV vaccine as a task of high priority
and urgency. In the meantime, we all will have to bring
out the best in each one of us by way of compassion,
understanding and love for those who are afflicted and
already affected. India can do no less.
Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Honourable Prime Minister of India.