The 26th World AIDS day brings positive news for India as the number of new HIV infections has come down by 57 per cent and related deaths by 25 per cent in the last decade.
As the World celebrated 26th AIDS day yesterday, India celebrates reduction in the number of new cases of HIV infections.
According to the PTI report, the country sees 57 per cent fall in fresh cases of HIV infections. The report also says that the next target of the Indian government is to achieve the ambitious global goal of zero new infection and death by raising awareness and boosting preventive methods.
Marking the World AIDS Day, Union Health Minister J P Nadda has appealed for involvement of people in the mission and launched a helpline number 1097 for the same.
On the occasion, Nadda lauded the fall in fresh cases and told PTI, “It’s the work of every individual to come out and fight it (HIV) out. There should be zero discrimination against people with HIV. This should be our commitment.”
Said to be a digital resource centre and a supply chain management system for HIV patients, the helpline number 1097 is an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS), which will provide round the clock access to HIV/AIDS information and services available for related issues like providing psychological support to those already infected with the virus.
Nadda further said, “We should be working on two fronts. We should be aware and put special emphasis on prevention and help those living with HIV and AIDS so that they face no discrimination.”
He also informed that the Union Health Ministry had signed MoUs with 11 central ministries for better coordination in tackling AIDS, and MoUs with five more ministries are in pipeline. “The work involves bringing on board 28 ministries,” he noted.
Reportedly, the first HIV positive case in India was spotted in 1986. After that the country saw sudden increase in the number of HIV infections which is currently at 2.1 million cases, the third highest in the world. However, according to Health Secretary Lov Verma, the good news is that HIV-related deaths have come down by 30 per cent since 2007.