Many states have withdrawn their orders to sack the AIDS/HIV health workers, after intervention by the health ministry, so that activities to stop the spread of the deadly virus are not affected.
Both Delhi and Maharashtra state AIDS control society (SACS), which had directed NGOs working with targeted intervention groups to curtail outreach workers by 25% and peer educators by 80%, have put their earlier orders on hold. Gujarat is likely to follow suit soon, said official sources.
On 25th of July many states had either laid off or stopped paying salaries to health workers involved in national AIDS control program. This has posed a fresh challenge to India's largest health intervention initiative already reeling under shortages of condoms and antiretroviral medicines. Official said the health ministry has made an initiative for procurement of condoms and medicines to meet the shortage.
Besides creating awareness, mobilizing sex workers, transgenders and other vulnerable populations for HIV testing and treatment, these health workers are also involved in distribution of condoms and medicines. For the last 10 months around 6,000 AIDS health workers in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have not received salaries.
India has seen a decrease of 57% in the annual new HIV infections among adult population from 2.74 lakh in 2000 to 1.16 lakh in 2011, according to NACO's 2013-14 annual report. The government is planning to restructure the National AIDS Control Program, which has been under financial stress, to address the concerns.