Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has committed that he will spend his upcoming birthday and take food with children living with HIV so that misinformation about HIV can be addressed.
Speaking at an event on World AIDS Day organized by the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) in Delhi, Dr Vardhan said, “When a disease like Chickenpox and Polio can be eliminated in India, then I believe that a disease like AIDS can also be eliminated. It is possible by spreading awareness about AIDS.”
Dr Vardhan felt that a word like community should not be used for people suffering from AIDS. “They are like us and discrimination with them is unwanted. There is need to change the thinking of society in context of AIDS,” added the Health Minister.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that during 2018-19, around 79% of people living with HIV knew their HIV status, 82% diagnosed with HIV infection are receiving free antiretroviral therapy and 79% are virally suppressed. “This means we are on the right track and our continued efforts, coupled with calibrated momentum, shall make this target achievable,” he said.
Dr Vardhan launched a mobile app, calendar and information material on AIDS developed by the NACO. He also released a Comprehensive Module for Private Practitioners on Management of AIDS.