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Shabana in Nepal on AIDS Awareness Mission

Kathmandu (PTI): Noted Bollywood actor and social activist Shabana Azmi on Tuesday underlined the need for greater unity and cooperation among the South Asian countries to combat stigma and discrimination against millions of HIV infected people.

Azmi, who is SAARC Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/AIDS along with Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya, has carried on with her three–day trip to Nepal despite Pashupatinath temple row while Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan cancelled his trip.

The actress today met Nepalese Health Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel and discussed issues related to prevention of HIV and rehabilitation of AIDS–affected people.

“I am very happy to see the progress made by Nepal in the area of fighting AIDS,” the actress, who arrived here yesterday to generate awareness about the disease, said.

AIDS is not only a medical problem, it also has socio–cultural links and there is gender discrimination in this issue,” she pointed out.

“Women should be empowered and all kinds of discrimination relating to HIV should be eliminated in order to check the spread of the deadly disease,” she told a press conference here.

Recalling her first visit to Nepal with Dev Ananad to shoot the film ‘Isq–Isq–Isq’ way back in 1974 she said adding, I have very long and beautiful relations with the country and if anybody plans to shoot a film here with me “I would jump to come to Nepal.”

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