The Indian Government has proposed the launch of an awareness program to alert AIDS patients regarding the healthcare facilities provided by public sector hospitals. In addition, free AIDS treatment would be instituted to nearly 100,000 in the next 3 to four months.
The provision of second line of AIDS treatment to a small percentage of patients who have already developed resistance to the commonly used anti-retroviral drugs represents yet another challenge to be overcome. The public sector hospitals are currently not equipped with these second line AIDS drugs.
More than 26000 AIDS/HIV victims are currently receiving anti-retroviral therapy provided at public health centres and public sector hospitals. In addition, free AIDS treatment centres have also been established by railway, postal, steel and other service-oriented organizations. Approximately 10, 000 patients reap the benefit of such groups.
The provision of second line treatment to these centres would mean the institution of effective AIDS treatment. This however would not be possible without the participation of social support and potential donor groups.
A special HIV/AIDS management program for training of nurses was recently launched by Sujata Rao, Project Director, National Aids Control Organisation. The program is based on a tie up involving the Indian Government and the Clinton foundation.