US to double grants to India to fight AIDS

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Chennai, Jan 7 (UNI) Considering the increase in number of HIV cases, the United States will double the quantum of grants to India to combat the dreaded disease, a top US official said today.

Doubling the quantum of grants to India was part of US' ongoing and strong commitment to India to fight the dreaded disease, US Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) Secretary Mike Leavitt told reporters here after visiting the Government Hospital for Thoracic Medicine at suburban Tambaram.

''Our Congress is being asked to double the amount that would be spent on funding India and other countries as the number of HIV cases is increasing,'' he added.

Observing that his country's commitment to India was ongoing and strong, Mr Leavitt said as part of President George Bush's AIDS initiative, US intends to double the money to help India and our other friends to sustain what we are doing, and be helpful in the centres which are carrying out these efforts''.

However, he refused to quantify the details of the grant to be given to India.

Expressing satisfaction about the services rendered by the Hospital, which was one of the principal beneficiaries of the Indo-US collaborative programme on HIV/AIDS, Mr Leavitt said Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss was planning to replicate the model in other states.


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