Health Ministry launched Test and Treat Policy for HIV
Govt of India launched the Test and Treat Policy for HIV. As soon as a person is tested and found to be positive, he will be provided with ART irrespective of his CD count or clinical stage. This will be for all men, women, adolescents and children who have been diagnosed as a HIV + case.
This will improve longevity, improve quality of life of those infected and will save them from many opportunistic infections, especially TB.
Government of India will soon develop a National Strategic Plan for HIV for next seven years and these seven years will be crucial for ending AIDS.
Need for Test and Treat Policy for HIV
Ending stigma is of paramount importance to enable persons infected and affected with HIV access health services. “To facilitate reduction in stigma and discrimination, the long pending HIV/AIDS Act has been passed very recently, which is an historical step. Very few countries globally have such a law to protect rights of people infected with HIV.
Highlights of the Test and Treat Policy Policy
The key provisions of HIV/AIDS Bill are prohibition of discrimination, informed consent, non-disclosure of HIV status, anti-retroviral therapy & opportunistic infection management, protection of property of affected children, safe working environment and appointment of ombudsman in every State.
Health Ministry has intensified its efforts to find all those that are estimated to be infected with HIV. “Out of 21 lakh estimated with HIV, we know only 14 lakh. T
To detect remaining we have revised national HIV testing guidelines and are aiming to reach out to people in community and test them where they are, of course with proper counseling and consent.
Nearly 1600 ART and Link ART sites where treatment is provided across the country and recently it crossed the 1 million people on ART, second country in world to have such large numbers on free lifelong treatment.
The ministry have been able to avert 1.5 lakh deaths due to ART and we will be able to avert 4.5 lakh more deaths by expanding provision of ART.
The 90:90:90 strategy that the Ministry has adopted will help to identify 90% of those infected, place 90% of these on treatment and ensure 90% have their virus under control.
This strategy will offer us an opportunity to work towards our commitment during HLM and WHA on “ending AIDS by 2030” as a part of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).
This is a landmark and a historic policy in the field of HIV/AIDS in India and shows how far we have come since 2004. “About 16 lakh people know they have HIV and we have to make sure that we reach out to each of them.
Test and Treat Policy for HIV – National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS and STI 2017-24 are as follows:
(i) Accelerating HIV prevention in key population and ‘at risk group’.
(ii) Expanding quality assured HIV testing with universal access to comprehensive HIV care.
(iii) Elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis .
(iv) Addressing the critical enablers in HIV programming
(v) Restructuring the strategic information system to be efficient and patient-centric.