Speech for 3rd National Conference of AIDS Society of India on
29-10-2010, Hotel Marriott, Hyderabad
On behalf of Government of Andhra Pradesh, I appreciate the
organizers of this conference for holding this at Hyderabad.
As you are fully aware, Andhra Pradesh is the hardest hit
State. Today, HIV/AIDS is one of the most formidable public health problems.
However, if not tackled properly; it has potential to become a genuine
In the last few years, Government of Andhra Pradesh has
mounted a sustained campaign to detect all the HIV cases in the state.
This has resulted in around 20.00 lac people getting tested
last year and another 10.00 lac people already tested for HIV status this year.
The data clearly shows a downward trend in the prevalence of HIV which indicates
the efficiency of our prevention programs.
This was made possible by establishing 1157 testing units
across all level including private sector and 18 mobile units to serve the most
vulnerable in the far-flung areas.
The sustained testing campaign SUBHAM has provided an
opportunity at the right estimates of the epidemic burden of the State and also
gearing up care, support and treatment services for the infected people.
As on today, there are nearly 80,000 people receiving free
Anti Retrieval Treatment from the 43 Government Health Care facilities whereas,
the figure was just one thousand in the year 2004-05.
This amply demonstrates the Stateís commitment towards
universalising access to the ART treatment and also inherent strength of the
Government Health Care Systems in the State. AP State Aids Control Society is
instrumental in achieving these phenomenal results.
Private sector is also making contribution in providing the
treatment to the HIV, where as it is mandatory to follow the treatment and
regimen protocols as prescribed by the National AIDS Control Programs by the
private practitioners also
Though prevention remains the key for reducing the burden
of epidemic, providing or managing the HIV epidemic also plays a pivotal role in
Early and correct diagnosis of HIV and subsequent link with
care, support and treatment services is critical for effective control and
management of HIV.
There are two ART center under Public Private Partnership
one is in the pipe line with the support of RIL in East Godavari. In the State
there is one Centre of Excellence at Gandhi General Hospital and a Regional
Pediatric ART center at Nilfouer Peadiatiric Hospital which not only involved in
training to the Medical fraternity but also involved in the second line
treatment who had failed the first line. The numbers who are receiving are
around 300 from the state. As AP is a big state, and the distance of travel to
the centre of excellence is far hence NACO has sanctioned an ART plus which will
be place at Vijayawada which will cater to the coastal districts of Andhra
Our State efforts move beyond clinical management of the
HIV. Government has introduced several schemes for the benefit of People Living
with HIVís (PLHIV) especially mitigating their financial burden.
Pensions were introduced to PLHIVís so that, it fulfills
their dire minimum needs. Also double nutrition and special nutrition wards were
proposed for the PLHIV children and concessional bus fares, to the people who
are taking ART. These initiatives are only beginning that are taken for the
welfare of the PLHIVs and protect their social entitlements. Our Government is
committed for the welfare of the PLHIVs so that, they can lead a quality longer
life with the support of the ART drugs.
I believe that years of intense IEC backed by effective
service delivery mechanism have made some positive impact. Our program data
indicates that HIV positivity has gone down and same is expected in forthcoming
rounds of surveillance. We are confident that we would be able to halt and
reverse the epidemic in the state.
To achieve this intensive campaign is planned targeting
high risk males. An exhaustive mapping exercise was completed to estimate the
number of high risk groups and interventions were scaled up accordingly.
The implementation of the program is multi-sectoral and
NRHM convergence has been initiated in the state to increase the coverage of the
Despite the successes, we know that much more needs to be
done. We should especially emphasize that AIDS control is not only about safe
sex and use of condoms. It is also about ensuring that every positive is
reaching to ART center. It is also about making necessary changes in oneís
lifestyle so that one is responsible and caring to oneself, to oneís family, and
to the community at large. It is also about continuous research to explore
initiatives to prevent new infections and cure the disease if possible.
In the context, I congratulate the organizer to bring this
conference to Hyderabad. I hope that deliberations would help us to improve
quality of care and understand areas which may help us in fighting with the