The ART of India’s HIV/AIDS response

Syllabus: GS III, Subject: Science and technology, Topic: Medical science and Health, Issue: Vaccine Administration in India

Context: 20 years of the launch of Free Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), for Persons living with HIV (PLHIV)

Free Antiretroviral Therapy (ART)

  • ART not only treats HIV but also suppresses viral load, halting disease transmission.
  • By 2023, HIV prevalence decreased to 0.20%, with India’s share in global PLHIV reduced to 6.3%.
  • National AIDS Control Programme aims for ambitious targets by 2025: 95-95-95.
  • Political will, sustained funding, community engagement, and program modifications contributed to the success of free ART.

Challenges:

  • Delayed enrollment, patient adherence, supply chain, private sector engagement, staff training, and integration with other health programs.

Conclusion

  • Free ART initiative in India sets an example for delivering quality, accessible healthcare nationwide.
  • The program’s success can guide other public health initiatives, like hepatitis C treatment, to accelerate progress.
Prelims Connect(Schemes/Policies/Programs)

·         National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) phase 5 calls for the attainment of ambitious targets of 95-95-95 by 2025, where 95% of all people living with HIV know their HIV status; 95% of all people diagnosed with HIV infection receive sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 95% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy achieve viral suppression by 2025.

·         These targets are aligned with global targets agreed by the UNAIDS.

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