Health Ministry launches ‘Test and Treat Policy for HIV’
“As soon as a person is tested and found to be positive, he will be provided with ART irrespective of his CD count or clinical stage.” This was stated by the Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Shri J P Nadda at the launch of the ‘Test and Treat Policy for HIV’, here today. “This will be for all men, women, adolescents and children who have been diagnosed as a HIV + case. This will improve longevity, improve quality of life of those infected & will save them from many opportunistic infections, especially TB,” Shri Nadda further added. The Health Minister also announced that India will soon develop a National Strategic Plan for HIV for next seven years & these seven years will be crucial for ending AIDS. Laying stress on addressing stigma & discrimination towards HIV, Shri Nadda said that ending stigma is of paramount importance to enable persons infected & affected with HIV access health services. “To facilitate reduction in stigma & discrimination, the long pending HIV/AIDS Act has been passed very recently, which is an historical step. Very few countries globally have such a law to protect rights of people infected with HIV,” Shri Nadda elaborated. The Health Minister further informed that the key provisions of HIV/AIDS Bill are prohibition of discrimination, informed consent, non-disclosure of HIV status, anti-retroviral therapy & opportunistic infection management, protection of property of affected children, safe working environment and appointment of ombudsman in every State.