India holds hope on HIV/AIDS treatment

Dr Charles GilksAccording to Dr Charles Gilks, UNAIDS Country Coordinator- India, currently India is able to manage at least 50 per cent of the AIDS programme expenditures.

 Speaking to Deccan Herald, Dr Gilks said that India’s performance in terms of implementing the AIDS programme is very high for the reason that India is a large country with many complicated epidemics. To reach this population, which stigmatises and discriminates people with HIV, the achievement is good, he added.

Targeted intervention specifically designed to reach high risk and vulnerable population especially MSM (Men having sex with Men) were slowing building up. However, there were certain areas still needed to be streamlined, he said.  

30 pc live in India

He revealed that a recent update indicated that out of the 40 per cent of the population globally, who need treatment and are already on it, 30 per cent lived in India.
“In that way India is a year behind the world in terms of treatment as it started the treatment late,” he said.

Dr Charles said that India has the resources, capacity and human skill to do a lot better than any other country in the world.

“Rest of the world is achieving success by using drugs manufactured in India. People in Africa, South America and Asia are benefiting out of this production. The second area, where the programme can be improved is in the mother to child transmission (PPTCT - Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission),” Charles Gilks said.  

UNAIDS is making all efforts to stop infants from getting infected from their mothers. In United Kingdom, North America, Australia and Europe, this target has been achieved and not single child is born with HIV infection.  

However in India, only 17 per cent coverage has been possible at the moment.
Grants to India

The grant from the Global fund is given based on the financial analysis done by World Bank.  The grants are allotted based on the capacity to each country’s economic status.  India has asked for $1 billion.

However Global fund has sanctioned $308 million for PPTCT programme from 2010 and $ 200 million will be sanctioned in the next two weeks for AIDS programme. In fact, $ 400 million will be granted for treatment alone for the next five years.

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