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International News

India Prime Minister Hails Success in Battle Against HIV

July 12, 2011

New HIV infections in India have plummeted over the past decade, falling to about 120,000 annually from 270,000 in 2000, officials announced on July 4. But an estimated 2.4 million people in India have HIV, new Ministry of Health data show, so "there should be no room for complacency," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told a conference in New Delhi.

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"India's testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS have increased their reach," Singh said. AIDS mortality rates have fallen over the years, and cutting mother-to-child infections further is now a "priority area" for the nation, he said.

"Our HIV/AIDS program can justifiably claim a measure of success," Singh reflected.

First-line antiretroviral drugs have been widely available for free through India's public health system since 2004. Second-line ARVs, though also free, are accessible only at a limited number of centers. Generic ARVs from Indian firms are critical to driving down treatment costs for India and other developing countries.

A key part of India's strategy has been its increasing prevention focus among high-risk groups, said Singh. The prime minister condemned stigma faced by people affected by HIV/AIDS in India, pointing out the many reports of schools denying admission to children with HIV. "We must see that there is no social ostracization," he said.

Outside the ministry where Singh was speaking, about 100 protesters denounced the government's HIV/AIDS efforts as inadequate.

Back to other news for July 2011

Adapted from:
Agence France Presse
07.04.2011


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
See Also
More HIV Statistics on India

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