In India, the Andhra Pradesh government is stepping up efforts to control the spread of AIDS. It is going to make it compulsory for prospective brides and grooms to get tested for HIV before they tie the knot. With Andhra Pradesh leading the Indian states in the number of affected people, the government wants to introduce the bill in the budget session of the Legislative Assembly in 2007. An all-party meeting will be called to discuss the bill but the Health Minister does not expect any opposition.
India’s neighbor China is also taking proactive steps to combat AIDS by targeting the prejudice that accompanies AIDS reporting. At a two-day workshop, publicity officials from municipalities, provinces and autonomous regions were taught to report on the disease in an accurate, balanced manner that does not discriminate against those suffering from this disease. Emphasizing the importance of reporting to create awareness, the organizers stressed that reports should also be detailed and accurate. The organizers hope that the course will help to make officials more sensitive to the human side of the disease.
Meanwhile, Bahrain too is gearing up to fight AIDS. The National Aids Committee has launched a program urging people to learn how to safeguard themselves from AIDS. While incorporating features from an earlier program, it will also include a public awareness drive to spread the message. The program will mainly be directed towards the youth, pregnant women and drug users. The estimated cost of the program is USD 40,000. The United Nations Development Program has lent its support to this initiative.
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