India and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) have signed a three-year grant agreement for $128.4 million or Rs.609.9 crore to support the continuation of flagship programmes of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).
The agreement was signed on Wednesday between NACO director-general K. Chandramouli and GFATM executive director Michel Kazatchkine.
The programmes covered under the grant agreement include Integrated Counselling and Testing Services (ICTS), Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) services and HIV-TB collaborative services.
The overall goal of the grant is to reach and diagnose an estimated 65 per cent of the HIV-infected people in India and link them to care, support and treatment services. In order to achieve this, the NACO, through this grant, aims to counsel and test 1.82 crore clients annually in over 10,700 Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTCs) by the end of the project (2012).
Special focus will be given to ante-natal women, high risk groups such as female sex workers, men who have sex with men, intravenous drug users as well as people with sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis.
The NACO also intends to work in collaboration with the National Rural Health Mission and increase the number of facility integrated ICTCs in Primary Health Centres from 1,000 to 4,755.
The number of facility integrated ICTCs under the public-private-partnership scheme in the private sector will also be increased from 266 to 1,600 by the end of the three-year period.
Of the estimated 65,000 HIV positive pregnant women in the country, the NACO will reach and identify 60 per cent of them to administer prophylactic treatment to prevent mother to child transmission under the PPTCT programme. To achieve this target, 83 lakh pregnant women will be annually counselled and tested in the ICTCs.
In the three-year period, an estimated 70 per cent of HIV-infected TB patients will be detected through an intensified package of HIV-TB collaboration services.
In addition, capacity of the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW), 20 State Institutes of Health and Family Welfare and 5 National Institutes under TB programme will also be built through the establishment of an HIV unit, with requisite infrastructure and human resource strengthening. Also, cold storage units will be set up in 110 warehouses across the country to store thermolabile products such as rapid HIV diagnostic kits. Further, to improve supply chain management, a nationwide logistics management and information system will be installed.
The NACO has applied for the Round 10 funding of the Global Fund. The proposal is to reduce vulnerability among most at risk migrant population, so that the HIV epidemic can be contained. India's revised migrant strategy envisages identifying high out migration locations at source and transit (besides destination), providing the migrant population information about HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STI) and safe migration.