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Reuters New Media
Indian Doctor Demands Ministry of Sex

November 8, 2000
NEW DELHI Nov 08(Reuters) - A prominent Indian doctor has called for a "Ministry of Sex" to tackle an alarming rise in AIDS and other sex-related health problems, The Asian Age newspaper said.

Dr. Prakash Kothari told a seminar in the city of Chandigarh that even the most innovative budgetary planning could soon be useless if the country continues to ignore the "looming reality" of an explosion in cases of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

He said that, assuming spending of 18,000 rupees (270 British pounds or US $386) per month on every person afflicted by the disease, "there will simply be no resources available to finance anything else in this country of ours."

According to the United Nations , India has 3.7 million AIDS-infected people, the largest number in the world after South Africa. The Asian Age said 34 million people were HIV positive in India and 14 million had already died of AIDS.

The newspaper quoted Kothari as saying that the government must treat the AIDS crisis as a bigger enemy than arch-rival Pakistan. "And therefore we have no other option than to tackle it head on," he said.