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AIDS Control On Track

 

“Let us shun any kind of discrimination in our thoughts, actions and behavior in our interaction with those who have HIV and AIDS. Let us do away with nomenclatures such as “AIDS/HIV communities”. Let us not bracket people who suffer from and have survived various diseases”.
This was stated by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare as he inaugurated the event celebrating the World AIDS Day, organised by the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), here today.
Dr. Arun Kumar Panda, Secretary (MSME) & Secretary (in-charge), Health & Family Welfare,  Sanjeeva Kumar, Special Secretary (NACO),  Alok Saxena, JS (NACO), Dr. Bilali Camara, Country Coordinator, UNAIDS, Dr. Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative (India) and more than 1200 members of partners and various CSOs, NGOs and BSF, CISF.
Dr Harsh Vardhan commended the immense contribution of the partner communities who have played a yeoman role in spreading information about the disease, to dispel misinformation, fear and apprehensions, and helped people to access testing and treating services of NACO.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that during 2018-19, around 79% of people living with HIV knew their HIV status, 82% diagnosed with HIV infection are receiving free antiretroviral therapy and 79% are virally suppressed.
The Union Minister emphasized upon the newer steps which are being taken by Government of India to achieve Sustainable Development Goal of ending the epidemic of AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, “The basic target remains that of ‘Three Zeros’ - i.e. zero new infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination” he said.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan further said that in sync with the Ministry’s ‘Digital India’ campaign, NACO has strengthened its monitoring mechanism with more than 35,000 reporting units providing information on completely IT enabled system.

Stressing on the need for multi-faceted and multi-sectoral response, Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that NACO has not only signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 18 key Ministries/Departments to augment a comprehensive AIDS response but also with more than 650 industries of public and private sectors to mobilize their support.
He also commended the contribution of the pharma industry of the country which has supported other countries in their fight against AIDS through affordable drugs.
The event also saw launch of the NACO Mobile Application, new IEC Material for TI NGOs, Calendar-2020, Comprehensive Module for Private Practitioners on Management of HIV/AIDS, 2019 by Dr. Harsh Vardhan.

Two PLHIV members shared their experience of having survived the disease and the support they have received from NACO, and other support organisations for overcoming the stigma.


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