Free education likely for HIV+ children

Free education likely for HIV+ children

Minister for Health and Family Welfare U T Khader, on Monday, said the State government has planned to offer free education to children of HIV positive people and to those children who have acquired the infection themselves.

Addressing a two-day Southern Regional Consultation on HIV-AIDS, he said, the education department has issued a government order to provide free education for children in the positive community. The 100 per cent testing for HIV among pregnant women has contributed to State's success in mitigating the number of HIV infections.

The State government is also reimbursing people for travel to Anti Retroviral Treatment Centres.

“Karnataka has brought down the rate of infections from 1.5 per cent in 2004 to 0.69 per cent in 2011. Intensive awareness programmes and sustained efforts have helped us achieve the fall in numbers,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said. The main challenge  is eradicating the taboo associated with HIV, he added.

Department of AIDS Control Secretary Lov Verma said the final contours of the Phase IV of National AIDS Control Programme was being worked out.  He said the HIV Bill was ready for introduction.

As part of NACP IV, intervention among transgender population will be intensified to address issues surrounding the community's vulnerabilities. Roll out of Multi Drug Regimen to prevent Parent to Child Transmission, allocating budgets for HIV in all major government departments, establishing Metro Blood Banks as Centres for Excellence and establishing a Plasma Fractionation Centre are among initiatives being planned.

The UN Special Envoy for AIDS (Asia-Pacific) J V Prasada Rao pointed out that while everyone feared that India’s population would make it the AIDS capital, the country has been successful in reversing it. Polio and HIV control are the success stories of India.

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