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Ending AIDS in India hinges on effective treatment of all HIV patients: ASICON

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Effective treatment of all HIV patients key to end AIDS in India: ASICON

New Delhi, March 23 (IANS) – Mumbai-based epidemiologist Ishwar Gilada emphasized the importance of treating all HIV-positive patients properly to suppress the virus and reduce transmission to help India end AIDS. Speaking at the 15th National Conference of the AIDS Society of India (ASICON 2024), Gilada highlighted the significance of securing the full range of HIV combination prevention, testing, treatment, and care services to stop the spread of infection.

The two-day 15th ASICON, with the theme ‘Informs, Reforms and Transforms HIV-care’, is currently taking place in Kochi from March 22-24. According to a National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) report in 2023, India has the second-largest population of people living with HIV in the world, with an estimated 24.67 lakh individuals. Out of this number, 16.80 lakhs are receiving lifesaving antiretroviral therapy.

Gilada stressed the importance of regular viral load testing for individuals with HIV who are on treatment to ensure they remain virally suppressed, untransmittable, and healthy. As the pioneer in raising awareness about HIV in India and establishing the country’s first AIDS Clinic in JJ Hospital Mumbai in 1986, Gilada’s insights hold significant weight in the fight against AIDS.

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“Every person with HIV who is on treatment should get the viral load test regularly as it is important to ensure that the person is (and remains) virally suppressed, untransmittable, and healthy,” said Gilada, President Emeritus at ASICON 2024.

With 79% of people living with HIV in India aware of their positive status, 86% of them receiving antiretroviral therapy, and 93% of those on therapy virally suppressed, India has made significant strides in managing the HIV epidemic. By continuing efforts to provide comprehensive care and support for individuals with HIV, the country can further reduce transmission and improve the quality of life for those affected by the virus.

The findings presented at the 15th ASICON serve as a reminder of the progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS and the importance of continued efforts to ensure access to comprehensive HIV care services for all individuals in need. With a concerted focus on prevention, testing, treatment, and care, India has the potential to end the AIDS epidemic and create a healthier future for all.

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IANS, established in 1986, is India's largest independent news service, offering 24x7 news from India and South Asia, and a preferred source for diverse content across six business verticals.

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