National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) of India plans to promote the development of public-private partnerships in the battle against HIV/AIDS. The third phase of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP-III) is likely to be launched in April.
Statistics show that approx. 80 per cent of Indians seek the private sector for outpatient care and over 50 per cent for inpatient care.
A national steering committee, which comprises of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, National Association of Software and Service Companies, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, International Labor Organization and USAIDS will be instituted to think of ways in which linkages can be strengthened between the private and government sectors.
NACP-III will utilize the strengths of the private sector and encourage it to offer prevention and treatment services as part of employee benefit schemes. NACP also aims to provide linkages to government services, including capacity building, support and outreach services. The organization will also assist financial investment in HIV prevention and treatment as part of corporate social responsibility.
State consultative groups will chart out potential thematic and geographical areas, which require private sector participation. These could include providing support for vulnerable or affected groups, mobile testing and counseling units, vocational classes for children of sex workers. All these activities will be financed by private agencies.
It is estimated that this collaboration with private sector will result in additional seven million high-risk and impoverished population getting access to HIV/AIDS treatment.