In existence for nearly two decades, India’s HIV-AIDS control mission has been the most successful global model to deal with the disease, the head of the country’s AIDS control panel said Monday.
“NACO is a global success model. The way India has brought down HIV infections from nearly 50 percent, it has been appreciated all across the world,” National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) director general Sayan Chatterjee said at the South Asian Forum for Health Research (SAFHeR) here.
The work of the AIDS control department, under the health and family welfare ministry set up in 1992 to combat AIDS, also includes allocating funds to voluntary organisations and state AIDS control bodies, structure policies for targeted interventions all across the country, surveillance of the disease, and implementation of programmes among others.
The NACO chief said even though the country is third after South Africa and Nigeria for AIDS statistics, identifying high-risk groups vulnerable to HIV has been one of its greatest achievements. India has a population of nearly 2.4 million HIV-positive people.
“Our sentinel surveillance programme has shown that the mortality rate has reduced. However, men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) is still not showing a dip in HIV,” Chatterjee added.
Countries participating in the SAFHeR are Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, among others.