`India can meet budget for its AIDS programmes`
New Delhi: Even as many international donors will be pulling out of the funding programmes on HIV-AIDS in India due to the global meltdown, the country is capable of carrying on the programmes at its own expense, union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Thursday said.
"Global meltdown has caused a reduction in funding from international donors and we have also urged some of them to continue the inflow of funds. However, the Indian government is capable of carrying on the programmes, even if it means allocating funds from our budget," Azad said at the World AIDS Day celebrations here.
Earlier this year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation decided to hand over the funding of projects to the government.
Some of the key donors that have pumped in money for HIV-AIDS interventions in India are Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (Now Clinton Health Access Initiative), and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The ministry is yet to decide the fate of "clause against discrimination" in the HIV-AIDS bill that is currently with the law ministry, Azad said.
"We also want to fight stigma and discrimination that happens with HIV positive patients. Details of clauses against stigma are yet to be decided in the bill," he said.