Bangalore: While India may have stemmed the AIDS epidemic "it miserably failed in prevention of parent to child transmission of HIV", says the AIDS Society of India (ASI), a professional body of doctors in HIV care.
"AIDS is now a chronic problem, like diabetes and hypertension and nothing has been yet invented that kills this virus," the AIDS Society of India says in its open letter.In developed countries like USA almost 90 percent of HIV infections are reported as against only 20 percent in India. Moreover, half of the infected people do not know their HIV status.Gilada points out studies by his organization have revealed a disturbing trend that pilgrim centers like Tirupati, Guruvayoor and Puri have become hubs for sex tourism, and children are the most vulnerable.The AIDS Society of India urgently calls for a national level consultation involving all stakeholders. "We should provide subsidized medicines with quality care; reduce vulnerability of women and children; enforce PMTCT as an emergency; and focus on youth and de-addiction," Gilada says."The AIDS virus moves more slowly than any infective organisms," says Gilada. He reiterates the warning of Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of HIV, that a mutation - a virus more easily transmitted or more drugs resistant - could emerge that could trigger a second AIDS epidemic.IANS