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AIDS ignorant: Truckers, and MPs

Dec 01, 2006 11:06 PM IST India India

New Delhi: As many as 5.21 million adults in India are living with HIV—that figure must make Indians assume that their lawmakers are working overtime to fight the AIDS crisis. They are probably not.

Many MPs are shockingly as ignorant about AIDS as truck drivers, a high-risk HIV group. On World AIDS, CNN-IBN found many MPs searching for answers when asked about the disease. MPs from Bihar, one of the worst affected states, were the worst when it came to awareness.

Asked about AIDS, RJD MP from Bihar Sadhu Yadav said: "Am I a doctor"

"How do you expect me to know AIDS? Am I a doctor? I don't know whether the figures are accurate?” said Janata Dal (United) MP Sharad Yadav.

RJD MP Raghuvansh Prasad’s statement was: “Doctors will have knowledge about it. Not me."

The Generation Next of MPs seemed to be more aware about the disease. “It spreads through sexual contact, used injections in hospitals," said Congress MP Priya Dutt.

NCP MP Supriya Sule said: "Unsafe sex, used syringes…that’s how it spreads."

Despite the huge campaign against AIDS, truck drivers are still ignorant. "I have no knowledge," said one driver.

"I have tried to find out. I don't know," said his colleague.

One MP and truckers’ hero, had a word of advice. "Be happy and be careful of AIDS," said Dharmendra.

(With inputs from Neha Seth)