India To Provide 300,000 HIV-Positive Adults, 40,000 HIV-Positive Children With Access to No-Cost Antiretrovirals
India's National AIDS Control Organization, which this month is scheduled to launch the third phase of its National AIDS Control Program, plans to provide 300,000 HIV-positive adults and 40,000 children ages 15 and younger living with the virus with access to no-cost antiretroviral drugs, the Indian Express reports. NACO during its second phase provided treatment access to 65,000 HIV-positive adults, and the organization since December 2006 has provided 3,700 HIV-positive children with treatment access, the Express reports. According to the Express, NACO has increased the number of health centers that provide no-cost antiretrovirals from 56 to 120 (Batra Bakshi, Indian Express, 3/31). Under NACO's third phase, the Indian government also aims to collaborate with private sector health care providers to offer HIV/AIDS treatment to an additional seven million people, including high-risk and impoverished populations. NACP estimates that because at least 75,000 to one million HIV-positive people will seek care in the private sector, an additional 126 antiretroviral drug treatment centers will be needed nationwide (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/4). According to Confederation of Indian Industry Chief Mentor Tarun Das, CII members plan to spend $23 million to establish 100 additional health facilities that offer access to no-cost antiretrovirals during NACO's third phase. Das added that over 1,000 companies affiliated with the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India have agreed to follow the guidelines for the control of HIV/AIDS at workplaces (Asia in Focus, 4/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.