New Delhi: AIDS will eventually be eliminated from the country as the centre today announced that it has planned to develop a national strategic plan over the nest seven years.
The Health Ministry launched a 'test and treat policy for HIV' under which as soon as a person tests positive for the disease, he will be provided with antiretroviral therapy (ART) irrespective of his CD count or clinical stage.
"This will be for all men, women, adolescents and children who have been diagnosed as HIV positive. This will improve longevity, quality of life of those infected and will save them from many opportunistic infections, especially TB," Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, J P Nadda said.
He stressed on addressing the stigma and discrimination towards HIV and said that ending the stigma was of paramount importance to enable infected persons access health services.
"To facilitate reduction in stigma and discrimination, the long pending HIV/AIDS Act has been passed very recently, which is an historical step. Very few countries globally have such a law to protect the rights of people infected with HIV," he said.
Nadda also felicitated eight scientists and community workers for their exemplary work in the field of HIV or AIDS.
"Out of 21 lakh estimated with HIV, we know only 14 lakh. To detect the remaining, we have revised national HIV testing guidelines and are aiming to reach out to people in community and test them where they are, of course, with proper counselling and consent," he said.
(With PTI inputs)