New Delhi : Government of India provides free lifelong antiretrovirale (ARV) medicines for people living with HIV. Under its National AIDS Control Programme, presently 15.23 lakh (Approx.) people living with HIV are given ARV medicines through 687 ART centers and 1261 link ART centers irrespective of their income background. It includes free adherence counselling, diagnostic and monitoring services like baseline laboratory investigations, CD4 count testing, viral load testing, etc.
To de–stigmatize the myths revolving around the disease, NACO implements multimedia campaigns along with mass media supported by outdoor media such as hoardings, bus panels, information kiosks, folk performances and exhibition vans to create awareness on HIV/AIDS and promoting services/facilities across the country. At the inter-personal level, training and sensitization programmes for Self-Help Groups, Anganwadi workers, ASHA, members of Panchayati Raj Institutions and other key stakeholders are carried out to spread awareness about treatment and other facilities. This year’s World Aids Day, observed on 1st December, was observed widely with the theme Equalize.
The Adolescence Education Programme is implemented in more than 50,000 schools, providing 100% coverage to students of class 8th, 9th and 11th through co-curricular activities based on life skill education approach in senior and senior secondary schools. 32 States included the topic of HIV /AIDS in curricula of schools.
Red Ribbon Clubs are formed in colleges to encourage peer to peer messaging on HIV prevention and provide a safe space for young people to seek clarification to their doubts on myths surrounding HIV/AIDS.
The Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar stated this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.