Drugs by Indian cos reduce cost of HIV first line treatment

New Delhi: Generic anti-retroviral drugs
manufactured by Indian companies have brought down the cost of
first line treatment for HIV patients from USD 800 to USD 10
per year even as the HIV epidemic in the country has shown
some stabilisation.

This information was given by Union Health and Family
Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to the Parliamentary
Consultative Committee of Health which met here today.

Azad said the HIV epidemic has seen some stabilisation
as adult HIV prevalence is now estimated at 0.31 per cent as
compared to 0.36 per cent in 2006. The six high prevalence
states have shown a declining trend in prevalence, the
Minister added.

He said 21 new Community Care Centres and 367 Link ART
Centres have been established in the last one year.
Generic anti-retroviral drugs by Indian companies have
brought down the cost of first line treatment from USD 800 per
year, a few years back, to USD 10 a month at present, health
ministry sources quoted him as saying.

He informed the committee that a significant chunk of
the estimated populations of high risk groups and populations
of truckers and migrants have been reached through targeted
interventions which have been successful in bringing down the
prevalence of HIV in southern states.

The Minister informed that a total of 143.8 lakh clients
including 61.2 lakh expecting mothers were counselled in the
Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICDCs) across the
country during 2009-10.

For people living with HIV/AIDS, the government has set
up 64 new anti-retroviral therapy (ART) centres in last one
year. A total of 89,000 new patients are receiving free ART

Azad said a national strategy to tackle the increasing
trend of HIV-positive cases amongst migrants is being put in
place as states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Rajasthan
where out migration is high need to be watched carefully.

The Members of the consultative committee raised the
issues of universally accepted nomenclature, involvement of
educational institutions, blood safety, wider testing, social stigma and use of local languages for the awareness purposes.


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