On the eve of the World AIDS Day that the government announced that from January 1 it will launch the life saving second line Anti-retroviral Treatment (ART) for those affected. National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) will be providing the same.
As per estimates India has about 2.5 million people affected with HIV/AIDS and among them only over 1,00,000 are currently receiving first line Antiretroviral AIDS Treatment (ART).
The first- line drugs are highly active and cost effective and is recommended by WHO and adopted by many government ART roll out programmes. But the second- line drugs are more advanced. Many are in urgent need of second- line treatment due to the failure of their first-line treatments, there are a million people in India that need, or will soon need, basic first-line anti retroviral treatment, Dr Mahesh Ganesan, advocacy co-ordinator for AIDS Health Foundation (AHF)/India Cares shared with media.
Dr Chinkholal Thangsing, Asia Pacific Bureau Chief for the AHF while talking to media said that as far as the accessibility of these anti-retroviral drugs for both the regimens was concerned, they are available and accessible. The first line treatment is available at retail vendors and through the ART centers of the government.