• United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) released its report.
• Some countries made rapid progress in reducing HIV incidence and getting antiretroviral therapy to patients between 2010 and 2017.
• Today, 3 out of 4 people with HIV know their status 21.7 million get treatment.
• India between 2010 and 2017 has brought down the number of new cases by 27% deaths by 56% .
==> India has done a few things right.
• Tuberculosis is the biggest killer of HIV patients and India can now treat over 90% of notified TB patients for HIV.
• Social shame around AIDS-infected people in India is declining slowly.
• However India is among the largest burden countries in the world with 2.1 million cases.
• The report points some problems: India laws can lead to harassment of groups at the highest risk of HIV like
• The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act criminalizes sex work
• Section 377 of the IPC criminalizes gay sex
• Fear of prosecution prevents homosexual men, drug-users and sex workers from HIV screening and treatment.
What are the possible solutions?
• India must find ways to reach such groups and ensure their treatment.
• The report mentions Karnataka in which by sensitizing police personnel and educating female sex workers reduced arbitrary police arrests.
• The right to health is universal.
• India must ensure that no one is left behind in the fight against HIV.