Inter-regional action needed on HIV, TB: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Updated: Aug 03, 2013, 12:18 PM IST

New Delhi: There is a need for inter-regional action between various South Asian countries to tackle cross-border issues on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, Indian Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said Friday.

Meeting Runa Laila, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) goodwill ambassador for HIV/AIDS, Azad also stressed on the need for enhanced scale of care, support and treatment services for eligible-HIV infected people, an official release said.

Azad briefed her about the internationally acclaimed success of India`s HIV programme, especially the commendable scale up in testing and treatment services, the prevention of parent to child programme and the migrant strategy.

Runa Laila told reporters prevention and treatment strategies have yielded a good impact as reflected in the reduction in new HIV infections as well as AIDS related deaths in the country.

She emphasized that all pregnant women should get themselves tested for HIV, and if found positive, should start anti-retroviral therapy to prevent transmission to the newborn.

Runa Laila, who is on a three-day visit to India, has been conferred the honorary title of SAARC goodwill ambassador by for the next two years along with actor Ajay Devgn from India and film-maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy from Pakistan.

During her visit, besides Azad, she also called on External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.