Reaffirming its 'fullest commitment' to the global fight against HIV/AIDS, India has pledged to intensify efforts to fight stigma and discrimination against victims and expand its prevention and treatment measures, especially for women and girls.
'The soundness of India's strategy has been vindicated with decisive downward trend witnessed in Tamil Nadu which had high incidence of disease,'Minister of State Oscar Fernandes said.
Addressing the high-level United Nations General Assembly session on AIDS last night, he told the delegates that India was close to finalising a law that aimed to provide extensive protection to women, children and people living with AIDS.
'We believe that such a rights-based approach is necessary in our struggle against HIV/AIDS,' he said.
India is a source of essential drugs for several countries in the developing world, he said.
The Indian pharmaceutical companies have been able to obtain US FDA approval for over 14 drugs, adding the country is expanding access to treatment from the current level of 30,000 to 100,000 persons, including 10,000 children.
'We are now involving the local self-government at the village level through the elected representatives numbering three million including one million women,' he said.
Stating that India was making 'significant progress', he said the strategy sought to balance care and treatment.
'With prevention as the key, our strategy focuses on expanding access to preventive services.'