New Delhi:  Health Minister J.P. Nadda on Tuesday announced that the National AIDS Control Programme will continue as a central sector scheme, following concerns over the ability of some states on contributing their share to the programme.
“NACO and the financial part of the other AIDS programme will be taken care of by the central government as we are truly committed towards solving the problem from the roots,” Nadda said on the occasion of World AIDS Day.
To mark the event, the minister announced a slew of policy decisions, including the launch of a distance learning programme on Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST), HIV Sensitive Social Protection Portal and India HIV Estimations 2015-Technical Report.
Elaborating on OST, Nadda said: “It is one of the components under the harm reduction strategy and is an evidence-based medical treatment for dependence on opioid drugs.
“It is a highly effective intervention for reducing drug related harms among IDUs particularly prevention of transmission of HIV and other blood borne diseases.”
The minister said the success of India’s HIV/AIDS Control Programme was recognised globally and the country has been able to bring consistent decline in HIV prevalence, in the incidences of new infections, and also in the number of AIDS-related deaths.
The HIV prevalence among adults aged 15-49 years is estimated to have fallen from 0.34 percent to 0.26 percent between 2007-2015.
Currently, the prevalence rate in males is 0.30 percent while the figure among females stands at 0.22 percent.
Manipur still has the highest estimated HIV adult prevalence at 1.15 percent of the state’s population while neighbouring Mizoram stands second with 0.8 percent of the population suffering from AIDS. They are followed by Nagaland at 0.78 percent, and Andhra Pradesh and Telangana at 0.66 percent.

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