NEW DELHI: Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday assured all stakeholders in the field of AIDS control that Government of India would continue to run the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP – IV) with or without external funding support. A sum of Rs 11,500 crore was provided for NACP-III from 2007-12.
Azad was speaking on the occasion of World AIDS Day celebrations, on the theme of ‘Getting to zero by 2015,’organised here.
Azad called for continued support from the public in rededicating ourselves to fight the HIV infection. He said, at the high level meeting in New York in June 2011, India was acclaimed as a country with notable success in the AIDS programme. The minister said the impact of the NACP-III has brought about a decline in the prevalence to 0.31 per cent with 50 per cent reduction in newer infections in the last decade. As of March 2011, nearly 4.5 lakh people living with HIV in India, including 26,238 children, are receiving free Anti Retroviral Treatment (ART) at around 1,000 ART centres and Link ART Centres in the country. The Universal Access to second line ART in a phased manner and launch of infant and child diagnosis are some of the newer initiatives launched to combat AIDS, he added.
Azad announced that National AIDS Control Organisation would restart its ‘Red Ribbon Express’ on 12th January 2012 on the National Youth Day to particularly focus on AIDS prevention, treatment and counselling efforts amongst the Youth. In its last runs the Red Ribbon Express had reached 182 stations covering over 80 lakh people across the country, he informed.
Today’s function, presided over by Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit, was organised by the Delhi State AIDS Control Society and the National AIDS Control Organisation. A Treatment Literacy Brochure was also unveiled by Azad on the occasion.