A panel discussion titled "Ending AIDS by 2030: Test and Start treatment" was organized by the US Embassy in collaboration with the Indian team of the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) at the American Center Library.
"India saw a decline of 32 percent in number of new infections of AIDS virus in 2015 compared to 2007," said Mary Kay Carlson, deputy chief of Mission at US Embassy.
‘India is the only nation that achieved a 32 percent decline in the infections and death rates by 50 percent through AIDS control programme.’
C.V. Dharma Rao, Joint Secretary of National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), said the fight against AIDS started in India way back in 1992.
"In the last 25 years, the AIDS control programme has grown and the number of new infections have been brought down by 32 percent and AIDS related deaths by over 50 per cent. No other country in the world has been able to achieve that," said Rao.
Public health specialist Sukarma Tanwar said there were new technologies like antiretroviral drugs which lower viral load in patients so that the disease does not get transmitted.
Rao added that still more than one million people suspected to be infected by AIDS are undiagnosed.
"People need to come forward and get themselves tested so early treatment could be provided," he said.
"However, HIV prevention should be delivered as a comprehensive package including bio-medical interventions, behavioral interventions and infrastructural interventions to effectively deal with AIDS," he added.
HIV/AIDS can be reduced and controlled with early detection and treatment of the virus but is possible only if people come forward before its too late.
Simran Shaikh from India HIV/AIDS Alliance said that there is a need to implement early testing and for reducing the stigma attached to HIV treatment.