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Plan panel eyes 60% reduction in new HIV cases by 2017

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120,000 new infections were reported in 2009.

The will strive for a 60 per cent reduction in new Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections by 2017. The plan document will also incorporate recommendations of a working group constituted to suggest measures to strengthen control in the country.

The group favours launching the fourth phase of the (NACP-IV) with renewed focus on districts and states which have bucked the general declining trend of AIDS.

“The adult HIV prevalence at the national level has declined from an estimated 0.41 per cent in 2000 to 0.31 per cent in 2009, through 0.36 per cent in 2006. The high-prevalence states show a clear declining trend in adult HIV prevalence. However, low-prevalence ones such as Assam, Chandigarh, Orissa, Kerala, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have shown a rising trend in adult HIV prevalence over the last four years,” the committee notes.

The reduction in the number of new cases should be from 2007-levels, the committee says. In 2009, new HIV infections stood at 1.2 lakh, down from 270,000 in 2000. The expert panel estimates the Budget for NACP-IV at Rs 12,824 crore, spread over a five-year period.

The panel also favours raising condom usage in the country to 3.1 billion by 2017, as against the prevailing 2.5 billion. “The government plans to make available free condoms in almost all the districts of the country through 2.4 million outlets, up from the current 1.2 million outlets,” the report said.

The committee recommends that 90 per cent of the annual blood requirement of the country should be met through voluntary donation to prevent the spread of HIV through blood transfusion.

The fourth phase will strengthen coordination among various central ministries such as labour, health, social justice and empowerment to quicken the response for intervention among high-risk groups. The plan panel favours strong integration between the and NACP to benefit more people.

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