State Pension Plan in India Will Benefit Low-Income HIV-Positive People
Low-income residents of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh who are living with HIV/AIDS are eligible for a monthly pension from the state to pay for antiretroviral treatment, Ramnarayan Reddy, the state's information minister, announced on Monday, The Telegraph reports (The Telegraph, 1/6). The Times of India reports that the government has found that 80% of the state's 50,000 HIV/AIDS patients receiving antiretroviral treatment fall below the poverty line (Times of India, 1/5). Under the initiative, which is the first of its kind in the country, about 41,000 people currently taking antiretrovirals will receive the pension, The Telegraph reports. To qualify for the monthly pension of 200 rupees, or about $4.08, a patient must have received antiretrovirals from a government facility for at least six months, have a ration card for use by families living below the poverty line and should not be part of another pension system. Families with more than one HIV-positive person will receive a pension for each family member living with the disease.
The initiative is part of a larger effort in the state to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS, as Andhra Pradesh has one of the largest populations of people living with the disease in the country (The Telegraph, 1/6).