Shimla, Jan 22 : Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday launched a state-level nutrition scheme for HIV-positive children during a campaign organised here by the State AIDS Control Society on the occasion of National Youth Day.
He said this initiative would go a long way in providing nutritional supplement and boosting the immunity of over 400 youth up to the age 18.
The state would also provide every possible support to these children to enable them to live a normal and healthy life, he said.
From this year, the Chief Minister said, the state has also made it mandatory for every expectant mother to go for a HIV test.
Expressing concern over the rising cases of AIDS, nearly 5,700 in the state, Thakur said there was need for massive awareness about the disease up to the village level.
NGOs and individuals would have to come forward in supplementing the efforts of the Health Department in making every citizen aware about HIV.
He said the awareness campaign should be intensified in schools and colleges besides putting special focus on organising skits and street shows, which were effective modes of communication among the masses.
Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said the Education Department would work with the Health Department to provide education to HIV-positive children across the state.