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WorldSkills Kazan

  • Category
    Economy
  • Published
    3rd Sep, 2019

Chief of International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) has said that India is pivotal to the global fightback against AIDS.

Context

Chief of International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) has said that India is pivotal to the global fightback against AIDS.

About

  • International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is working on two trials for a possible AIDS vaccine but neither has yet reached a stage when a date can be put to the availability of the vaccine.
  • Its work on vaccine has improved understanding of the immune system and spawned many technologies that can help fight other diseases, including emerging threats such as Ebola and Zika.
  • With neither a vaccine nor any cure in sight, antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the only option available for people living with HIV-AIDS.
  • According to the World Health Organization, standard ART consists of a combination of at least three antiretroviral drugs to suppress the HIV virus and stop the progression of the disease.

Why India is crucial in battle against the virus

  • India has the third largest HIV epidemic in the world, with 2.1 million people living with HIV.
  • There are 2 million new AIDS infections every year, and about 66 per cent of the world population currently on antiretroviral therapy consumes drugs manufactured in India.
  • India’s epidemic is concentrated among key affected populations including sex workers and men who have sex with men.
  • Despite free antiretroviral treatment (ART) being available, uptake remains low as many people face difficulty in accessing clinics.
  • Globally, the ART market is valued at .48 billion (in 2018) and is expected to reach .83 billion by 2025.
  • Indian pharmaceutical companies, with their ability to manufacture high-quality, affordable medicines are very important in this global battle.
  • Sustained commitment of the Indian Government through its National AIDS Control Programme has been particularly effective at targeting high-risk groups such as men who have sex with men, sex workers and people who inject drugs.

National AIDS Control Programme (NACP)

The National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), launched in 1992, is being implemented as a comprehensive programme for prevention and control of HIV/ AIDS in India. Over time, the focus has shifted from raising awareness to behaviour change, from a national response to a more decentralized response and to increasing involvement of NGOs and networks of People living with HIV (PLHIV).

  • The NACP I started in 1992 was implemented with an objective of slowing down the spread of HIV infections so as to reduce morbidity, mortality and impact of AIDS in the country.
  • In November 1999, the second National AIDS Control Project (NACP II) was launched to reduce the spread of HIV infection in India, and (ii) to increase India’s capacity to respond to HIV/AIDS on a long-term basis.
  • NACP III was launched in July 2007 with the goal of Halting and Reversing the Epidemic over its five-year period.
  • NACP IV, launched in 2012, aims to accelerate the process of reversal and further strengthen the epidemic response in India through a cautious and well defined integration process over the next five years.

NACP - IV – Objectives

  • Reduce new infections by 50% (2007 Baseline of NACP III)
  • Provide comprehensive care and support to all persons living with HIV/AIDS and treatment services for all those who require it.

UNAIDS ‘90-90-90’ targets

The targets propose that to end the HIV epidemic by 2030, 90% of persons living with HIV (PLWH) worldwide should know their diagnosis, 90% of diagnosed PLWH should be on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and 90% of PLWH on ART should be virally suppressed by 2020.

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