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US quadruples funding for HIV/AIDS to India, grants $29 million

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, June 5 (UNI) Declaring the fight against HIV/AIDS in India as high priority, the US government has quadrapled the funding in the past five year for HIV/AIDS prevention treatment and care in India to 29 million dollars.

A US Embassy release here today to mark the fifth anniversary of the 2001 Declaration of Commitment to Combat HIV/AIDS around the globe said that in 2001 India was getting US funding amounting to eight million dollars, which has increased to 29 million dollars in 2006.

The US and India have forged a strong partnership to fight HIV/AIDS in India with support from organisation such as the US Agency for International Development and the Health and Human Services Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (HHS/CDC).

The US supports activities in high prevalence states including Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and North East to improve HIV/AIDS prevention and care for people living with the disease.

These efforts are paying off, with the trend in HIV prevalence among antenatal care patients appears to be stabilising in some states like Tamil Nadu. Work Place policies and programmes are being initiated in a number of companies and US supported initiative are successfully reaching out to improved care and support for people living with HIV, including children.

US President George W Bush Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, at their meeting last year, made a commitment to strengthen cooperation and combat HIV/AIDS through a new initiative that mobilises the private sector. Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment for this effort during Mr Bush's visit to India earlier this year. American and Indian businesses have given more than 1.3 million dollars to the initiative through the Indo US Corporate Fund for HIV/AIDS.

On a global scale, the US has increased funding to fight HIV/AIDS under the Emergency Plan, which is the largest international health initiative by a single country to address one disease. President Bush's request for four billion dollars in funding for 2007 is a dramatic increase over the 2.4 billion dollars committed in 2004.

The Indian Government has also substantially incresaed its own resources to stop the epidemic. It has established National AIDS Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, which comprises more than 20 ministries with dedicated budgets for HIV/AIDS activities. The National AIDS Control Organisation is preparing a broader national response under the third phase of the National AIDS Control Programme.

It has also increased the number of Voluntary Counseling and Testing Centres and set an ambitious goal of providing free anti-retrovirals to 100,000 people by 2007.

UNI AJ VD BD1630

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