Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Union Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Prof. S.P Singh Baghel inaugurates World AIDS Day event in Guwahati

World AIDS Day theme: Let Communities Lead

“India believes in Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, so that everyone is free from disease”

Posted On: 01 DEC 2023 5:46PM by PIB Delhi

Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Prof. S. P. Singh Baghel along with Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of Assam, Shri Keshab Mahanta, inaugurated the World AIDS Day event at the Srimanta Sankaradeva International Auditorium, Guwahati, Assam. This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is “Let Communities Lead.”

Aligning with the theme of World AIDS Day, 2023 “Let Communities Lead,” Prof. Baghel reflected on the journey India has had in fighting with this disease and the crucial role that the common citizen played throughout as communities paved the way from terror to discipline and resilience. The Minister said that today there is no fear among the people regarding the disease, but people must continue to remain on guard.

Emphasizing the consistent and dedicated approach taken by the Government towards eliminating HIV AIDS, Prof. Baghel mentioned the ongoing Phase V of the National AIDS and STD Control program of the government, that has received an outlay of Rs. 15,471 crores. “This is the Swasth Antodaya that Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay had envisioned,” he said. He further added that the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act, 2017 is a game-changer that strengthened human rights for HIV patients and was a crucial step towards ending discrimination in society.

Speaking about the continuous effort to reduce the cost of anti-retroviral treatment, the Union Minister said, “India believes in Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – so that everyone is free from disease. Today under the able leadership of Prime Minister Modi ji, we have been successful in controlling this serious disease.”

Prof. Baghel also distributed Ayushman Cards to beneficiaries present at the event. Assam has the distinct achievement of distributing the highest number of Ayushman Cards among the large states category.

Country Director, UNAIDS, David Bridger underscored the critical role played by communities in HIV response. “Community led organisations deliver results that other actors cannot deliver. We can end AIDS by enabling the full potential of community leadership,” said Bridger. He recognised India’s national AIDS response program, saying that the country is one of the big global achievers. “India’s AIDS response is an example of national commitment and strategic action where partnership between government and community remained central – leading to game-changing initiatives like HIV AIDS Control Act, Test and Treat Policy, Mission Sampark and many more”, he added.

The WHO representative to India, Dr Rodrico H Ofrin addressed the gathering virtually. Speaking about HIV response programs worldwide he mentioned that programs succeed when they have been firmly anchored on strong political leadership, adequate resources, evidence-based action, inclusive approaches and most of all, equity. He congratulated India on reaching remarkable milestones in this aspect. He said that India has reported a decline of 76.5 percent in annual AIDS related deaths and 46.3 percent decline in annual new HIV infections since 2010. “These are sig achievements,” said Dr Ofrin.

The event also saw the release and launch of the following documents:

a. SANKALAK: 5th Edition - The flagship report providing data-driven comprehensive progress across all components of NACP.

b. India HIV Estimates 2022: Technical Report - The latest round in the series updating the epidemiological evidence in the country.

c. NACO Calendar 2024

d. National Communication Strategy - A comprehensive framework outlining strategic approach to effectively communicating and disseminating vital information pertaining to HIV/AIDS/STI prevention, treatment, care & support across the nation.

e. Laboratory Technical Guidelines on Early Infant Diagnosis for HIV-Exposed Infants - A comprehensive overview of the national initiative, prophylactic measures, laboratory processes including sample collection, testing and reporting.

f. Prevention Progress Update 2022-23 - To update the progress, analyse and disseminate on the important activities for provision of services to HRGs, Bridge Populations, prisons populations and other at risk and vulnerable populations under NACP.

g. Research Compendium, Volume-I, from Research Studies undertaken by State AIDS Control Societies in FY 2021- 22 - focuses on ensuring translation of research outputs into programmatic action and policy formulation.

Several stalls displaying the programmatic achievements and latest interventions were also placed at the event venue. There was a blood donation camp arranged at the venue that received enthusiastic participation. Speakers from the Community also shared their experience about how the services under NACP continue to benefit them.

The live streaming of the event was done at NACO’s YouTube channel:

Shri Avinash Joshi, Additional Chief Secretary, Govt of Assam; Ms. Nidhi Kesarwani, Director, NACO; Dr Siddharth Singh, Commissioner Secretary, Medical Education and Research Department, and CEO, Atal Amrit Abhyan Society and Dr Indranoshee Das, Project Director, Assam State Aids Control Society were present on the occasion. The event was attended by more than 1500 people cutting across states, people living with HIV (PLHIV) communities, NGOs, CSOs, members of the armed forces, NCC, development partners and youth.



HFW/MoS World Aids Day Event/01st Dec 2023/2

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