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Ending inequalities is focus of World AIDS Day

December 01, 2021 01:18 am | Updated 01:18 am IST - CHENNAI

On the 34th World AIDS Day on Wednesday the focus will be on ending inequalities to eradicate AIDS.

Though organisations had given themselves time till 2030 to eradicate the disease, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had made it difficult to achieve the target.

The World Health Organisation’s target of 90-90-90 by 2020 (for 90% of people with HIV to know their status; 90% of the HIV infected persons, who know their status, to be put on anti-retroviral treatment (ART) and 90% of those on ART to have their HIV-viral loads suppressed) has been extended by 10 years with the goal post of 95-95-95. Last year, of the 1.5 million people newly infected with HIV globally, 69,000 were from India. Of the 680,000 people who died of AIDS-related illnesses globally, 59,000 persons were from India, said N. Kumarasamy, secretary general, AIDS Society of India (ASI), and chief and director, Voluntary Health Services-Infectious Diseases Medical Centre.

As with other nations, the country has missed meeting the target of zero discrimination by 2020, he added.

“Zero discrimination milestone now has been shifted to 2030, albeit with a correction, less than 10% discrimination by 2030. ASI worked hard to call for the law for ending all forms of HIV-related stigma and discrimination. Without bold action against inequalities, India, as well as other countries, risk missing the target of eradicating AIDS by 2030,” Dr. Kumarasamy said.

Chief Minister’s message

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Tuesday said the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the State had reduced to 0.18%, from 0.38% in 2010-11, and urged everyone in the State to treat those living with the infection with love. In his message ahead of the World AIDS Day, Mr. Stalin said everyone should take a pledge to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.

He said the government had created a trust for children living with HIV/AIDS, with a fund of ₹25 crore, and was implementing various welfare schemes using the interest on the deposit. This was India’s first such scheme, he said, adding that pension was also being provided to young widows whose husbands had died of the infection.

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