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India calls for dismantling barriers to treat HIV/AIDS

United Nations: Observing that high cost of anti-retro viral medicines is a major impediment in treatment of HIV/AIDS, India has called for dismantling barriers that obstruct universal access to treatment of the disease.

Addressing the plenary of the high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS 65th Session of the UN General Assembly yesterday, Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said that international community should remain highly engaged.

He said the foremost requirement is to bridge the resource gap. It is essential that the international community continues to commit funds commensurate with the requirement for containing HIV/AIDS.

Azad regretted that the UN Secretary General?s report has shown that the HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to outpace the response to contain and prevent its spread.

This situation persists despite three decades of concerted efforts to combat this epidemic.

The presence of a large number of Heads of States and Governments, Health Ministers, other eminent leaders, representatives Civil Society, NGOs and professionals from around the globe is a clear endorsement of the need for this event, he added.

India has been able to contain the epidemic with a prevalence of just 0.31 per cent. It has brought about a decline of 50 per cent in new infections annually.

Over the last decade, there is evidence of stabilization of the epidemic with definite success in reversal in some parts of the country, he said.

"Our focus has been on high risk groups, expanding services and improving access to anti retro viral therapy."

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