Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Even as the General Assembly in its declararion endorsed India's policy on generic HIV/AIDS medicines, the country reported nearly 55 percent reduction in deaths due to the deadly infection since 2007.
According to the lastest statistics presented by Health Minister JP Nadda at an ongoing high-level United Nations meeting in New York, new HIV infections in nthe country have come down by 66 percent since 2000 and about one million people affected by AIDS are currently on antiretroviral therapy.
India had recorded 1,48,309 such deaths in 2007, whereas, in 2015, the figure stood at just 67,600.
On a global level, the deaths declined by 41 precent between 2005 to 2015. And between 2000 and 2015, new HIV infections in India fall from 2.51 lakh to 86,000 as compared with a global drop rate of just 35 percent.
India had faced the "spectre of disastrous consequences" on account of AIDS epidemic 15 years back but was able to manage the challenge effectively, Nadda told the UN meeting. "Targeted interventions based on close collaboration and empowerment of communities and civil society with appropriate funding from the government have helped deliver key life saving services to the affected population," Nadda said.
Admitting that India needs to adopt the fast-track targets proposed by UNAIDS, Nadda stressed the need to reach out to 90 percent of the people in need of treatment for HIV.
More than 80 percent of the antiretroviral drugs for treating HIV/AIDS are supplied by the Indian pharmaceutical industry and they have helped save millions of lives, Nadda told the meeting.
To ensure access to affordable medicines and commodity security, India is committed to maintain the TRIPS flexibilities, he added.
In his address at the United Nations General Assembly's High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS on Wednesday, the minister also sought more investments from foreign countries as India could not give the epidemic a chance to rebound.
(With Agency inputs)