Gates Foundation Pledges $23M to India’s HIV/AIDS Control Efforts
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday announced a pledge of $23 million to strengthen the Indian government's capacity to fight HIV/AIDS in the country, the AP/Houston Chronicle reports (AP/Houston Chronicle, 10/24). The $23 million is "part of an additional $58 million committed" to Avahan, the Gates Foundation's India AIDS initiative, and will be disbursed from 2007 through 2009 (Gates Foundation release, 10/24). Under an agreement signed on Tuesday by Prasanna Hota, union secretary for health and family welfare, and Tadataka Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health Program, the money will go toward program management and technical capacity at the national and state levels, according to Hota (IANS/Daily News and Analysis, 10/24). Under the agreement, Avahan will provide support and training for staff of India's National AIDS Control Organization and the country's State AIDS Control Societies to boost their skills in project and financial management (Gates Foundation release, 10/24). Avahan also plans to help improve interventions among vulnerable populations -- such as injection drug users, men who have sex with men, and commercial sex workers and their clients. Avahan and NACO plan to collaborate to establish an implementation strategy (The Hindu, 10/25). There are 5.7 million HIV-positive people living in India, according to U.N. estimates (Reuters, 10/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.