An awareness rally on AIDS, held in the district on Sunday, saw hundreds of students from schools and colleges, health officials and various NGOs participating. The rally was organised for World AIDS Day which is observed on December 1 every year.
In a brief programme organised on the premises of the Collectorate, Collector Archana Patnaik flagged off the rally. Addressing the students she said the stigma associated with the syndrome had to change.
“The social stigma associated with the syndrome has to change. AIDS will not spread through social contact and society should stop ostracising affected people,” she said. She gave away prizes to winners of various competitions.
The rally covered more than three kilometres from the Collectorate to the office of the Deputy Director of Health services on Race Course Road. Students took part in the rally displaying placards and boards. They took the pledge to spread awareness on AIDS among family and friends.
Deputy Director of Public Health Dr S Somasundaram and C Sivakumar, supervisor, District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit (DAPCU) were present.