Mumbai comes first in terms of prevalence and deaths due to HIV/AIDS infection in India, according to figures released by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
A total of 82950 cases of HIV infections detected in Mumbai during last 5 years of 2005-2010.
At 17219 Mumbai also has the maximum number of HIV/AIDS patients seeking treatment at ART centers. Mumbai also has the highest number of deaths reported due to HIV/AIDS during the period.
Recently, a new free HIV/AIDS treatment centre has been started functioning in the Model Colony of Pune city in Maharashtra state.
The Model Colony anti-retroviral therapy (ART) centre will become the fourth HIV/AIDS therapy centre in the Pune city.
Launched by National AIDS Research Institute (NARI), the ART centre Model Colony will provide free anti-retroviral drugs to treat HIV/AIDS infection to 2000 patients living with HIV who were earlier deprived of free medication.
There are over 20,000 patients with HIV/AIDS are currently waiting for free anti-retroviral therapy. As many as 21,381 have registered for anti-retroviral therapy at Sassoon Hospital.
The ART centre at NARI clinic in Bhosari has been providing drugs to 700 people.
The ART centre, set up five years ago, has 5,642 patients on medication now.
Over 9,000 patients living with HIV have been shifted to the link ART centres at Satara, Solapur, Ahmednagar, Nashik and other places in Maharashtra, officials stated.
Normally, ART treatment starts as soon as laborbatory reports show that the HIV infected patients’ immunity boosting CD4 cell count levels begin to drop to below the minimum.
In India, ART is given to HIV/AIDS patients whose CD4 count is found less than 300 or 350, at present.
There are, however, countries where ART therapy is started irrespective of the CD4 count in HIV/AIDS patients, experts said.
ART or anti-retroviral therapy comprises the administration of more than three anti-HIV medicines for a prolonged duration.
Anti-retroviral therapy has the potential to increase the life expectancy of people living with HIV, according to Col K Shanmuganandan, in-charge of the ART centre at Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC).
The AFMC had started its ART Centre lat year and nearly 2,000 are provided free anti-HIV drugs from this centre.
YCM Hospital, Pimpri, also has an ART centre.
India received Rs. 5162 cr as external aid component of National AIDS Control Programme III (2007-2012).
All funds for National AIDS Control Programme (NACP-III) are routed through annual budget grant of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. As National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) is being implemented through the State AIDS Control Societies (SACSs), the grants are released by the Department of AIDS Control to the Societies on the basis of their approved Annual Action Plans. State AIDS Control Societies (SACSs), in turn, transfer funds to District Authorities, Non Government Organizations (NGOs) and other implementing agencies in their respective states.
The funds were utilised as follows:-
(A) Aid from World Bank and Department for International Development is used for implementation of the following prevention activities of the National AIDS Control Programme(NACP-III) strategy viz :
(1) Targeted Intervention among High Risk Groups.
(2) Information, Education and Communication
(3)Blood Safety activities including promotion of Voluntary Blood Donation.
(4) Conducting Research activities.
(5) Monitoring & Evaluation of programme.
(6) Meeting expenses for administrative and operative cost.
(B) Funds from Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) are utilized for Care & Support activities including i) provision of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART), ii) establishment and maintenance of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) Centers and Community Care Centers (CCCs) for care of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) and iii) of Integrated Counselling Testing Centers
(ICTCs) to conduct counselling & testing for detection of Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) and to implement Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) programme for prevention of transmission of HIV to infants from HIV +ve pregnant mothers. A rural outreach program of Link Worker Scheme is also funded partially by the Global Fund.
(C) United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funds are utilized for meeting expenditure incurred by AIDS Prevention Control (APAC) and AVERT projects in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra respectively for interventions among High Risk Groups (HRGs) and focused Information, Education and Communication (IEC).
(D) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is supporting the implementation of Link Worker Scheme in 25 districts across 5 states i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Orissa and Rajasthan in addition to Mainstreaming projects in the said states.
This information was given by Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Trivedi in written reply to a question raised in Rajya Sabha, according to an official release.