Kings XI Punjab partners with AIDS Healthcare Foundation India

MUMBAI: One of the teams of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Kings XI Punjab has collaborated with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), a global AIDS organisation which provides medical care to AIDS affected patients through its India office.

As part of the team’s social responsibility plan, the aim is to scale up awareness and implementation of HIV counseling, testing and referral services for the vulnerable population in India. Since the state of Punjab shows the highest percentage of youth affected by drugs in the country, according to the team, the endeavour is aimed at combating and raising awareness about one of the largest yet unspoken issues plaguing the country.

During an awareness event conducted in collaboration with Post Graduate Government College for Girls, at Sector 42, Chandigarh and a youth based organisation Yuva where the collaboration between AHF and Kings XI Punjab was officially announced, AHF India country programme manager Nochiketa Mohanty said, “This would be a part of AHF’s 20x20 global campaign to scale up access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for at least 20 million people by year 2020. The larger objective of the initiative is to change the global mindset of people towards HIV testing and investing in treatment scale up that would eventually yield humanitarian and economic benefits.“

Kings XI Punjab COO Fraser Castellino commented, “HIV menace has engulfed the State of Punjab significantly due to widespread drug addiction. As part of the project we have also produced a video “Say No to Drugs”, which will be disseminated through our digital portals in order to build awareness on this topic. We support AHF’s global campaign and believe that greater awareness and testing among these key populations will be required to attain to the 20x20 goal.“

AHF president Michael Weinstein said, “Many countries in the African subcontinent are utilising task shifting measures for HIV testing in order to increase accessibility within the community while keeping the implementing costs of the outreach programs low. If they can, India definitely can implement these strategies to reach out to more than 1/3rd of the total estimated 2.1 million who are unaware of their HIV status but there needs to be an enhanced political and bureaucratic commitment for the same. 20×20 is not an abstraction: if we all commit to getting at least 20 million people on treatment by 2020, we will take a conscious, critical step toward ending AIDS Anchor.”

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