'Majority of HIV, AIDS medicines come from India'

Union Minister and Forum of Parliamentarians on HIV/AIDS Head Oscar Fernandes, on Thursday, said over 80 per cent of all HIV and AIDS medicines bought across the world came from India.

Briefing reporters, regarding the two-day South India Regional Consultation on HIV/AIDS to be held in Bangalore, he said Indian medicine were not only cost-effective and cheaper than drugs manufactured in other countries, but more effective.

“For every patient treated using drug manufactured by American companies, ten patients can be treated using Indian manufactured medicines at the same cost,” he said.

HIV infection rate in the country has come down by 50 per cent, but, on the other hand, use of condoms had also come down which is alarming, he observed, adding the government would utilise services of social workers and NGOs to launch HIV awareness drives and promote use of condoms.

The two-day consultation meeting scheduled from October 28 at Banquet Hall, Vidhana Soudha, will see participation by eight states. Health ministers, MPs, heads of local bodies, representatives of NGOs from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Pondicherry, Orissa, Maharashtra besides Karnataka will participate where best practices of each state will be shared.  Health Department Principal Secretary Madan Gopal said new  anti-retro viral therapy (ART) centres will be set up in Bangalore, Chikkaballapur, Bijapur, Chikkodi, Gulbarga and Belgaum.

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