Dr Harsh Vardhan denies discounting role of condoms in AIDS prevention
India's Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, has expressed his"disappointment" over the way sections of the media have distorted his statements on the efficacy of condoms in the prevention of AIDS.
In an interview given to the New York Times on Tuesday, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said: "Through misleading headlines, an impression is sought to be created that I have misgivings about the efficacy of condoms or, that I have a moral problem with condoms."
"For the past two decades, I have been stressing the need for safe sex using a combination of condoms and discipline which is in line with the Abstinence-Be Faithful-Condom (ABC) line of UNAIDS which has yielded great success in Uganda and now forms part of the anti-AIDS campaigns of several countries," Dr Harsh Vardhan said.
Apart from stressing the need for safe sex, he pointed out that he has also laid the foundations of a robust voluntary blood donation system throughout the country which would ensure safety as well as access to quality blood, thereby preventing transmission of the HIV virus through contaminated blood transfusions.
He was also critical of reports that sought to draw a connection between his statement and the criminalisation of same sex in India. This matter is beyond the domain of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, he said.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan is presently in the United States on an official visit.
(Posted on 25-06-2014)