Scale up services for pregnant HIV-positive: UNAIDS

April 26th, 2012 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) As India’s AIDS control department is working on its next AIDS control mission (2012-17), a top UN official Thursday said the country must scale up its treatment and care facilities for HIV positive mothers. India has nearly 2.5 million HIV positive, the third largest population across the globe.

“If we want zero AIDS-related deaths, India needs massive scale up of treatment and care services. By 2015, we need at least 15 million people on treatment worldwide,” Charles Gilks, country director for UNAIDS, said at the national AIDS control organisation (NACO) summit.

“India has not even reached 50 percent of what needs to be done. It should focus to improve services for pregnant mothers,” Gilks added.

The three-day summit on the lessons from national AIDS control programme phase 3 (2007-1012) is seeing participation from health officials, community workers, experts from civil society and global experts.

While two-decade old AIDS control body under the ministry of health and family welfare is taking ahead programmes in absence of some reduced global funding this year, the department’s additional secretary Aradhana Johri said: “The government is committed to enhancing the funding given the withdrawal of external funding.”

“We have an unfinished agenda. Stigma, discrimination and denial faced by HIV positive people is still very high,” she added.

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