The Supreme Court has sought response from the Centre and others on a plea alleging shortage of anti-retroviral drugs for treating HIV patients in the country.
A plea was filed by NGO Indian Network for People living with HIV/AIDS alleging shortage of antiretroviral drugs in the country.
The plea contended that non-availability of drugs at the Anti-Retro Viral Therapy Centres of the National AIDS Control Organisation results in hampering ARV treatment of the people living with HIV/AIDS.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases.
It is spread by contact with certain bodily fluids of a person with HIV, most commonly during unprotected sex (sex without a condom or HIV medicine to prevent or treat HIV), or through sharing injection drug equipment.
If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
The human body can’t get rid of HIV and no effective HIV cure exists.
AIDS is the late stage of HIV infectionthat occurs when the body’s immune system is badly damaged because of the virus.
With neither a vaccine nor a cure in sight, Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) is the only option available for people living with HIV-AIDS.
HIV is a type of virus called a retrovirus, and the combination of drugs used to treat it is called Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).
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.
Significant reductions have been seen in rates of death and suffering by the use of potent ART regimen, particularly in the early stages of the disease.
National AIDS Control Organization
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.
UNAIDS is working towards stopping new HIV infections, ensuring that everyone living with HIV has access to HIV treatment, protecting and promoting human rights and producing data for decision-making.
UNAIDS is working towards ensuring that, by 2020, 30 million people have access to treatment through meeting the 90–90–90 targets, whereby 90% of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status are accessing treatment and 90% of people on treatment have suppressed viral loads.