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AIDS is a political disease and a medical scourge, says US Congressman

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US Congressman Dr Jim McDermott received Lifetime Achievement Award of AIDS Society of India in Mumbai
US Congressman Dr Jim McDermott received Lifetime Achievement Award of AIDS Society of India in Mumbai
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So said US Congressman Dr Jim McDermott while receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 9th National Conference of AIDS Society of India (ASICON 2016) in Mumbai.

In an exclusive interview given to CNS (Citizen News Service), (watch video interview: | Audio podcast: ) he shared some of his deep insights on fighting this disease with view to ending it by 2030 as envisaged in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dr McDermott is a medical doctor who has been a US Congressman since 1989. Before being elected to the Congress, he was a practising psychiatrist. He worked as a Regional Medical officer in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) during 1987-88. There he saw the HIV epidemic, when it was in its infancy, from close range. This experience fuelled his desire to fight the disease as a lawmaker. Fighting AIDS has been one of his top priorities since he was elected to the US Congress.

Unmask the stigma of HIV-speak about it openly

Dr McDermott lamented that there is tremendous resistance in the global society to be open about this sexual disease. And so people find it difficult to talk about it. "Every year millions of youngsters become sexually active, and most have no idea about safe sexual activity. They are just driven by their emotions. The youngsters have to be educated that the main route of transmission of HIV is through sexual activity. Young people have to know that they have to practice safe sex, which means using the condom unless they want to have a baby. Continuous education about this issue and about safe sex is of prime importance", he said.

No child should be born with HIV

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