On November 18, 2020, the Ministerial meeting of the Global Prevention Coalition (GPC) for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) Prevention 2020 was virtually hosted by UNAIDS (United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) and UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) on behalf of the HIV GPC. From India, Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Ministry for Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) addressed the meeting.
- It should be noted that the Member States of GPC had agreed to reduce new adult HIV infections by 75% at the end of 2020 from 2010 levels. Therefore, this year’s meet was significant in achieving the 2016 UNGA commitment to end AIDS by 2030.
- Indian side is also committed to achieve the 90-90-90 targets across the country by the end of 2020 and elimination of (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.
What are India’s 90–90–90 targets?
This target envisages the following by 2020:
- 90% of people living with HIV will know their HIV status.
- 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status will be accessing treatment
- 90% of people on treatment will have suppressed viral loads.
Key Points from Dr. Harsh Vardhan Address:
–A remarkable performance was shown by Global AIDS response in reducing new infections, improving access to prevention services and treatment services for people living with HIV (PLHIV) and reducing AIDS-related mortality.
–The provision of export of Anti-Retroviral (ARV) drugs from India had made a critical impact in controlling the HIV epidemic.
–India’s HIV prevention model is centered around the concept of ‘Social Contracting’ through which the Targeted Interventions (TI) programme is implemented to provide outreach, service delivery, counseling & testing and ensuring linkages to HIV care.
–Advisories and guidance notes were issued by National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) from time to time aligned with global guidelines.
–India had revamped HIV Counselling & Testing Services (HCTS) along with community based screening of HIV for improving early diagnosis.
–The coverage of testing for HIV was increased to achieve the Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV.
–Under the Test and Treat Policy, approximately 50,000 PLHIV who were lost to follow-up were linked back to ARV Treatment services through Mission SAMPARK.
- About Mission SAMPARK: It was launched on December 1, 2017 i.e. on World Aids Day to bring back People Living with HIV who has left treatment after starting ARV Treatment (ART). Notably, on this day the National Strategic Plan on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), 2017-24 was also released.
–Viral Load Testing facilities have been scaled up from the existing 10 public sector labs to 64 labs across the country.
–The enactment of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017 has provided a legal and enabling framework for safeguarding the human rights of the infected and affected populations.
About Global HIV Prevention Coalition:
Established in 2017, it is a global coalition of United Nations (UN) Member States, donors, civil society organizations and implementers to support global efforts to accelerate HIV prevention.
Other Participants: Arti Ahuja, Additional Secretary (Health), Alok Saxena, Joint Secretary (Health), Shobini Rajan, ADG (Additional Director General), NACO were also present at the meet.
Recent Related News:
- On October 6, 2020, Harsh Vardhan and Minister of State (MoS) (Independent Charge) for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha), Shripad Yesso Naik virtually released the National Clinical Management Protocol (NCMP) based on Ayurveda and Yoga for management of COVID-19.
- On October 14, 2020 Dr Harsh Vardhan virtually launched the Second Phase of “Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana” from Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi. It will benefit underprivileged patients.
About United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS):
Executive Director– Winnie Byanyima
Secretariat– Geneva, Switzerland
About United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Executive Director– Dr. Natalia Kanem
Headquarters– New York, United States (US)