India ‘Must Act Now’ To Prevent Widespread HIV/AIDS Epidemic, Minneapolis Star Tribune Editorial Says
In order to "avert a replay of Africa's anguish, India must act now to avert and treat" people living with HIV/AIDS, a Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial says, adding that "[o]nlookers the world over should step in to keep a billion-plus Indians from enduring an avoidable plague" (Minneapolis Star Tribune, 7/30). Indian political leaders over the weekend discussed the epidemic at the National Convention of the Parliamentary Forum on HIV/AIDS, the country's first national conference on the disease (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/28). At the meeting, which "signaled [an] about-face" on AIDS for India, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said that his government has "failed" to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, but he was "vague" on his plans to control the disease, saying that he would "empower" young people through education, the editorial says. A "full-blown" education program and an antiretroviral drug access program "would indeed be welcome," according to the Star Tribune. Health officials have praised many Indian generic drug companies for "undercutting" the antiretroviral drug prices of U.S. and European pharmaceutical companies, but "[o]nly with government intervention -- and international help -- will the country's AIDS sufferers enjoy the dampening effects of drug treatment," the Star Tribune concludes (Minneapolis Star Tribune, 7/30).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.