World Bank-assisted AIDS control support project launched

World Bank-assisted AIDS control support project launched

New Delhi: To support AIDS prevention programmes and discourage stigma and discrimination against affected people, a Rs 2,550-crore World Bank-assisted project was launched here by Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Of the total project cost of USD 510 million (Rs 2,550 crore), USD 255 million will be financed by the World Bank through a credit from the International Development Association (IDA).

The National AIDS Control Support Project was launched in Delhi by the department of AIDS c ontrol, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to help and accelerate the country's AIDS prevention programme by targeting high risk groups.

These groups include female sex workers, men who have sex with men, injecting drug users and vulnerable population like migrants and truckers.

Union Ministers of State for Health and Family Welfare AH Khan Choudhury and Santosh Chowdhary were also present at the launch.

Azad said the prevention of HIV is high priority for the government and over 99.5 pc of India's population is free from HIV now. Accordingly the focus of the programme has been on prevention of spread of HIV, while ensuring access to treatment and care for all HIV infected persons.

In the current global economic scenario, external aid has dried up and there is need for greater reliance on domestic support to ensure that such a successful programme does not suffer lack of resources.

The project will contribute to three of five strategies of National AIDS Control Programme IV - prevention component, behaviour change component and institutional strengthening component.

The two other components of provision of care, treatment and support to people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) and strategic information management systems (SIMS), including disease surveillance, will be supported by national budget, with technical and financial support from other donors.

By scaling up targeted interventions and prevention services, it is estimated that the project will cover about 90 per cent of the high risk groups and avert about 3 million new infections by 2017.

PTI

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