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PM assures HIV pressure group

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal today assured people living with HIV/AIDS that the government would do everything possible to guarantee them social security and a life of dignity.

The prime minister told a delegation of the National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nepal, at a meeting in his office, that the government was working on incorporating social security allowance in the next budget.

The delegation led by Rajiv Kafle, president of the Association, handed over a memorandum with a single demand to the PM that the government ensures the livelihood of HIV-infected people, especially women. The Association demanded social security amounting to Rs 3,000 per month for each HIV-infected woman. Earlier, the Association had warned it would resort to a fast-unto-death if its one-point demand was not fulfilled within a week.

The country has around 4,000 HIV-infected women. Most of them are widows with children. It is believed these women were infected by their husbands."These women are innocent. Their husbands are to blame for transmitting the disease," he said. "The PM assured that money would be provided on monthly basis." Kafle warned that thousands of HIV-infected people would stream into the capital city and start a fast-unto-death if their demand was not met.

They also handed over a fabric bearing signatures of 60,000 people from all walks of life collected from 65 districts as evidence of support for their demand.

Earlier, they had submitted a memorandum each to the Ministry of Health and Population, National Planning Commission and all departments under the ministry to pressurise the government to fulfill their demand. The government is said to have instructed the Health Ministry to make needful preparations to fulfill their demand.


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