On the eve of World AIDS Day, the former US
president, Bill Clinton will be donating antiretroviral drugs to
children who are suffering from HIV. 10,000 pediatric doses of these
drugs will be formally donated to Sonia Gandhi, who is the UPA
chairperson, on Thursday, November 30th.
She will also be launching the National Paediatric HIV/AIDS
Initiative where different facilities for the protection and care of
HIV infected children will be offered. An official from the National
AIDS Control Organisation, (NACO) said: "We have purchased 85,320
adult doses of ART and are getting 10,000 paediatric ART doses free
from the Clinton Foundation. Till October, we had put 44,000 people
on ART. The number now stands at 51,500."
"On the eve of World AIDS Day, we will launch a scheme to provide
free treatment to HIV infected children. We estimate there are
around 65,000 kids with HIV infection, out of an estimated 5.2
million HIV people in the country," said the Health minister,
Anbumani Ramadoss who will be present there.
NACO Director General, Sujatha Rao said: "This is the first time
that we are launching a initiative that targets the children
specifically.” She said that seven registered paediatrics HIV
excellence centres having qualitative PCR machines (polymerase chain
reaction machines), would be set up in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad,
Chennai and Imphal. At these centres there will be facilities for
free cd-4 count monitoring, a test for HIV/AIDS, for children upto
15 years of age. She also said that there would be 36
Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) centres set up under the initiative.
"We will also be offering liquid formulations for babies weighing
less than five kg," she said.
What is antiretroviral (ART) treatment?
Antiretroviral treatment is a type of treatment for HIV or AIDS
which can increase the lifespan of infected people. The treatment
needs to be taken each day for the rest of the person's life. The
treatment consists of medicines which slow down the HIV replication
in the body. These medicines are also called antiretroviral rugs or
ART drugs. Many lives have been improved and transformed through ART
treatment and it has helped many people conquer fear,
discrimination, stigma and sickness, and has given them a new hope
and dignity to live life.
Until now, the way of administrating the ART drug to children, often
caused under dosage or over dosage of the drug, leading to drug
resistance. The ART doses donated by Bill Clinton will mean an
increased lifespan of 10 to 15 years in the HIV infected children.
The AHF and the American Center in New Delhi, will celebrate the
World AIDS Day, with the opening of a photo exhibition titled Photos
of Hope: Lives Saved and Transformed by HIV Treatment. The
exhibition will run from December 1st to December 16th at the
American Center, New Delhi.
The exhibition will share portraits and stories of men, women and
children who are living on ART treatment and HIV/AIDS care, which
has been provided through free treatment clinics of AHF both in
India and US. The exhibition will commence with an opening night
reception on November 30th, where several subjects of the portraits
will be present, and will share with others their stories of hope
Dr. Chinkholal Thangsing, who is the Asia Pacific Bureau Chief for
AIDS Healthcare Foundation said that he hoped that the photos served
as an inspiration for people who were in need of medical care and
"This exhibit puts a human face on the promise that treatment can
bring to people living with HIV/AIDS when they have access to
medical care and lifesaving antiretroviral therapies. As a physician
treating people with HIV and AIDS, I see firsthand how care and
treatment saves lives and transforms people. I am grateful to the
American Center for hosting this exhibit through which we share
these success stories from both India and the US.
It is my hope that these photos serve as an inspiration for others
in need of such treatment, and as a World AIDS Day call to action to
scale up global treatment efforts," he said. The AIDS Healthcare
Foundation (AHF) is the US' largest HIV/AIDS healthcare and
prevention and education provider, and it operates free AIDS
treatment clinics in the US, Asia, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean.
The AHF also operates AHF-India Cares.
Thu, 30 Nov 2006 | Author : Thomas Blythe