Paediatric HIV/AIDS in India
According to National AIDS Control Organization 2007 estimates ,out of an estimated 2.31 million people with HIV and AIDS in India, women constitutes 39% and children below 15 years stands at 7.8% Improved access to Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) centres is key to fight against HIV/AIDS. It is important to design and implement intensive child-focused IEC separately targeting rural and urban population through an appropriate mix of media.It is also important to disseminate appropriate information on HIV and AIDS , paediatric diagnosis and ART through mass media and other communication campaigns to impart correct knowledge and generate awareness across rural and urban areas. In April 2004 ART programme was launched in 6 high prevalence states of India for HIV infected people. Realising the need for extending free ART to increasing number of Children living with HIV, the paediatric AIDS initiative was launched in 2006 .The main focus was to reduce the disparity between the number of children living with HIV and AIDS and the number of children receiving treatment. It is also imperative to expand the treatment by decentralizing ART services by increasing the number of ART centres close to small and medium towns with services like HIV testing, CD4 count and prognostic support. These should be set up at strategic locations to reduce the time taken and also the expenses involved in travelling long distances to reach these centres. Lack of awareness about Paediatric ART and HIV/AIDS since ART was primarily adult focused and there has been lack of child focused information, education and communication on HIV/AIDS. Lack of coordination, collaboration and convergence between agencies, departments and related programs. There are an increasing number of children dying with AIDS is a major concern in India. There is a need for improved coordination between AIDS control societies and district health depts. There is a need to...
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