Government's proposal of Rs 900 crore for combating AIDS

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New Delhi, Feb 29 : Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has announced a proposal of Rs.993 crore to the National Aids Control Programme.

Chidambaram said, "Studies have shown that the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS has come down from 0.9 per cent to 0.36 per cent, which is a matter of some satisfaction."

Chdambaram also announced the total exemption of excise duty on anti-AIDS drug 'Atazanavir' and bulk drugs for its manufactures.

India provides free first-generation drugs to 82,000 people living with HIV/AIDS. India is one of the world's largest producers of second-generation anti-retrovirals used to treat HIV/AIDS and yet it does not provide it under its national programme.

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