India: 97,000 kids tested with AIDS from 2007-2009

As many as 96,942 children tested positive for AIDS during the last three years in India, Minister of State for Health Dinesh Trivedi said Tuesday.

The highest was in Andhra Pradesh with 22,559 children testing positive for the disease followed by 21,835 in Maharashtra and 15,082 in Tamil Nadu.

Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, Trivedi said: “The government has taken several steps to protect children from HIV infection.

“Identification, counseling and prophylactic treatment to HIV positive pregnant women and new born babies, diagnosis of HIV positive children and spreading public awareness.”

From TOI

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US President Obama in health war

By MIKE ALLEN from POLITICO.com

Facing an onslaught of opposition to health reform, the White House on Monday opened a “Reality Check” website with a viral tool aimed at online combat on everything from “rationing” to euthanasia. 

US President Obama

US President Obama

The site incorporates lessons learned from the Obama campaign’s “Learn the Truth About Barack Obama” site, which covered everything from the birth certificate to William Ayers to “a recent e-mail smear falsely claims Michelle ordered room service, but she never even stayed at the hotel.”

Aides to President Barack Obama say the key is to respond to viral rumors with an aggressive, equally viral response.

“We’re offering the site and tools to empower individuals across the country to take this content into their own hands and share it among their networks,” a senior administration official said. “That’s the sort of bottom-up process that got us to the White House, and it’s what’s going to deliver meaningful change to the health insurance system.”

The new offensive came as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer charged in an opinion article in USA Today that disruptions at congressional town halls have been “simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades.”

At the same time, the Democratic National Committee is urging supporters to visit the local offices of their senators and House members. DNC interns called lawmakers’ offices to find out their hours of operation. Organizing for America, the Obama grass-roots network now operated by the DNC, offers custom-tailored e-mails telling supporters where and when they can show up.

The new White House site has built-in tools allowing users to e-mail every page and video to their friends and families and is linked to social networks with preloaded messages to encourage folks to share the content. The videos feature administration officials putting a face on reform by tackling issues in a casual, straightforward way.

There’s also an FAQ that, when e-mailed, includes a long message full of the facts about reform — in a similar format to some chain e-mails that offer what the White House considers a long list of falsehoods. The 2,000-word FAQ covers everything from “rationing” to “a lot of seniors seem to be concerned about a provision in the House bill that would provide counseling for end of life care. They think it sounds like the government will come along every five years and require you to talk about how you want to end your life.”

The site will be promoted heavily on the White House’s rapidly growing social networks and with an e-mail to the WhiteHouse.gov list.

Linda Douglass, communications director of the White House Office of Health Reform, said Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: “One of the things we learned during the campaign was that if you give people all the facts, … people really paid attention. They understand what the truth is when they see it.”

Macon Phillips, White House director of new media, offers a tour of his team’s handiwork, in a pre-dawn blog post: “The first set of videos addresses a wide scope of topics and debunks some of those common myths:

— CEA Chair Christina Romer details how health insurance reform will impact small businesses.

— Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes tackles a nasty rumor about euthanasia and clearly describes how reform helps families.

— Matt Flavin, the White House’s director of veterans and wounded warrior policy, clears the air about Veteran’s benefits.

— Kavita Patel, M.D., a doctor serving in the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, explains that health care rationing is happening right now and how reform gives control back to patients and doctors.

— Robert Kocher, M.D., a doctor serving on the National Economic Council, debunks the myth that health insurance reform will be financed by cutting Medicare benefits.

— In a video first released last week, Linda Douglass from the White House Health Reform Office addresses fears about the end of our private insurance system and reiterates that if you like your current plan you can keep it.”

 Read more: Health War