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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Tibetans in exile observe World AIDS Day

December 4, 2010

Thursday, 2 December 2010

On the occasion of World AIDS Day on 1 December, the Central Tibetan Administration has called on the Tibetan people to exercise utmost care and take preventive measures to combat the disease, and not to discriminate those afflicted it.

DHARAMSHALA: This year's theme 'Universal Access and Human Rights' underscored the right of every individual to get adequate access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care.

In his statement, Health Kalon Chope Paljor Tsering expressed his "hope that Tibetans in exile have greater awareness about the disease as a result of free HIV detection tests and awareness campaign being conducted across the Tibetan settlements in exile since 2008". "We also hope that the campaign has helped in creating knowledge about the availability of medicines for HIV patients which control the disease from getting worse and prolong longevity," he added.

He said 11,315 Tibetans in exile (over 9% of total population) have undergone free HIV detection tests.

He said the Tibetan hospitals and health centers would continue to conduct the tests, and appealed for more participation from the general public.

The health Kalon said the "prevalence of HIV/AIDS among the Tibetan community in exile is very low". "Still, it is of paramount importance that everyone, in the interest of both personal and other's well being, must be ever more vigilant in not yielding to negligence and complacency," he added.

Emphasising His Holiness the Dalai Lama's concern and guidance on the importance of exercising caution and getting medical test, the health kalon called on the Tibetan people to avail themselves of preventive methods.

"We must be compassionate to those suffering from HIV and not discriminate or marginalise them. The latter in turn should take care and responsibility so that other people may not get the disease," he said.

In his message to the Tibetan people living inside Tibet, health kalon said "the Chinese government policies of forced strerilisation and influx of prostitutes from China to Tibet pose danger of HIV/AIDS epidemic among the Tibetan people".

"As part of our efforts to accomplish Tibet's fundamental goal, it is our inviolability duty of Tibetans in Diapora to ensure that not a single Tibetan is afflicted with diseases like HIV/AIDS," he said.
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