India can end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030, says Health Minister Nadda
Union Health Minister J P Nadda on Thursday said around two decades ago India was predicted to be the AIDS capital of world but has now "successfully arrested" the epidemic of HIV and claimed that the country can end it by 2030.
"Our concerted efforts and strategies have been able to see a success story of India. We can now safely say that we can end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030," Nadda said during an event to mark World AIDS Day.
"There is a consistent decline in HIV prevalence over the years, 57 per cent reduction in the incidences of new infections, and 29 per cent decline also in the number of AIDS-related deaths," Nadda added.
Stating that the Centre has taken major policy decisions towards strengthening the fight against the epidemic, Nadda said that his Ministry has already implemented cut-off level for initiation of Anti Retrieval Therapy (ART) to CD4 count of 500 and is working to raise the bar further to treat every patient.
The Union Health Minister also said the government is presently treating more than 10 lakh patients with free ARV therapy. He said that the third line ART is now available free under the ART programme.
He released the 'NACO My Stamp', HIV counselling and testing services guidelines and a booklet on assessment of blood banks in India.
Nadda also launched the NACO Mobile Application having a risk calculator on HIV/AIDS, service directory addressing myths and misconceptions regarding the disease and a link for a National Toll Free AIDS Helpline and Social Protection scheme.