India ‘Racing Against Time’ To Fight HIV/AIDS Epidemic, Opinion Piece Says
India -- where about five million HIV-positive people live -- is "racing against time" to fight HIV/AIDS, which is "spreading rapidly in vulnerable urban populations," Dr. Kenneth Mayer, a professor of medicine and community health at Brown University Medical School and director of the university's AIDS Program, writes in a Providence Journal opinion piece. HIV/AIDS in India is "increasingly" affecting young married women, who are pressured to have sex and children or else face consequences, Mayer says. Community-based organizations have begun to "address the complex needs posed by the epidemic," and government centers are beginning to provide treatment, but "more resources are needed," Mayer says. India hosts several generic drug manufacturing firms whose antiretroviral drug medications are helping to treat "millions," he says. However, treatment programs need to expand across the country to include more HIV-positive people and locate additional resources "with sufficient speed to avert a public-health disaster," Mayer says. India needs "to mobilize now" because the "stakes are high," he writes, concluding, "An unchecked HIV epidemic could undermine the impressive economic gains of the world's largest democracy and lead to a resurgence of tuberculosis and other health problems -- with consequences beyond those experienced by" people living with HIV/AIDS (Mayer, Providence Journal, 12/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.