March 26, 2013
Nabi Azad, India's Minister of Health and Family Welfare, announced that the government plans to provide testing and counseling for HIV/AIDS at major sea ports to prevent HIV transmission and help manage the disease. He explained that the Department of AIDS Control of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Shipping on February 14. According to the MoU, the Ministry of Shipping will make the health infrastructure and human resources available at major sea ports for prevention and management of STIs and HIV/AIDS.
A recent UN report states that HIV cases among adults have declined by half in India since 2000. Also, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS has decreased to 0.31 percent with an estimated 2.7 million persons in India living with the disease. Azad said that recent estimates for 2012 indicate that the overall HIV prevalence among adults in India in 2011 was 0.27 percent. He also listed a number of programs, including the Red Ribbon Express, that are used to create HIV awareness and halt the transmission of the disease.