Sustained action needed for Getting to Zero HIV

India is on track to achieve the global targets of ?Zero New Infections, Zero AIDS-related deaths & Zero discrimination?. However, sustaining prevention focus and intensity in the areas where significant declines have been achieved, is highly critical to consolidate the gains, while effectively addressing the emerging epidemics.

With increasing coverage of treatment & decreasing AIDS-related mortality, a significant number of people are likely to require first and second line ART treatment in the coming years. Major challenge for the programme will be to ensure that the treatment requirements are fully met without sacrificing the needs of prevention.

NACO has taken cognisance of these emerging challenges and have focussed on region specific prevention strategies and evidence-based scale up.

1. Scale up of Opioid Substitution Therapy and other harm reduction strategies are given focus in the North Western states where injecting drug use is identified as the major driver of the epidemic.

2. On the other hand, in the eight states of North India, where migration is increasingly being identified as playing role in HIV transmission, revised migrant strategy is being implemented with focus at source, transit as well as destination points.

3. In certain pockets of high prevalence states where HIV prevalence among FSW and MSM continues to be high, emphasis is given to sustain the higher coverage of targeted interventions and improve the quality of outreach.

4. Interventions to provide HIV prevention services to long distance truckers are being scaled up at the trans-shipment locations and truck halt points across the country.

5. More efficacious PPTCT regimen has been rolled out in high prevalence areas where number of HIV positive pregnancies is higher and where the impact on reducing new child infections will be maximum.

6. In the states that account for a larger share of HIV burden, treatment services are being scaled up through expansion of ART and Link ART centres. Second line ART and paediatric ART are being provided at greater number of centres across the country.

7. IEC campaigns have been strengthened through multi-media approach involving TV, Radio and innovative strategies such as Red Ribbon Express, National folk media campaign and North East campaign involving music and sports.

Source: Press Information Bureau, India

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