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VISAKHAPATNAM: The Rosaiah Government has taken a decision to issue free bus passes to AIDS patients undergoing treatment at ART centres, according to Project Director of Andhra Pradesh State AIDS Control Society R.V. Chandravadan.
He was in the city to participate in a meeting of elected representatives on HIV situation in Visakhapatnam district organised by the AP Legislators Forum on HIV and AIDS.
In a chat with newsmen who met him on the sidelines of the meet, Dr. Chandravadan said that the free bus pass was meant to enable HIV patients visit their nearest ART Centres for checkup and treatment. An attendant would also be allowed to travel free as escort to the patient. The modalities were being worked out and a G.O. would soon be issued in this regard. The move would entail an annual expenditure of Rs.5 crores to the State Government.
He said that the State Government was the first in the country to announce pension to AIDS patients. This would be in addition to the normal pension, which Government employees were entitled to after their retirement from service. The pension amount would be credited to the bank account of the patients and it could be withdrawn through ATMs.
He said of the 34,000 persons, who had applied for ‘Sahara' cards, 26,000 had already been issued the same. These cards would enable the patients to avail themselves of these benefits. A new innovative campaign on AIDS awareness, designed to focus on the clients of high risk groups, would be launched in a couple of months, he said.
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