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News from The Hindu during last week of November 2008. (exact date not noted*)

‘Need for compulsory AIDS test before marriage’

Hyderabad: Anti Retroviral Treatment (ART) Centres have been set up in all Districts of the State with around 20,000 patients availing its services till date, said Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Sambhani Chandrasekhar.

AIDS Patients are also being provided with other benefits such as pensions, rice at Rs. 2/- per kilogram besides being issued ration cards, the Minister said after releasing a poster on AIDS, brought out by a social service organisation, Citizens Council Andhra Pradesh, on the occasion of World AIDS Day on Monday (*probably it could be on 24th November).  Former Minister K. Pushpaleela stressed the need for compulsory AIDS testing before marriage.  People from all backgrounds should fight off the stigma and get tested for the deadly virus, she said.

The poster contains information on the disease, it spread, misconceptions associated with it and safeguard mechanisms.

They will be displayed at all public places such as railway stations, bus stations, primary health centres among others, said Chairman of Citizens Council Andhra Pradesh, M. Rajanarayan Mudiraj.