India has the potential to eradicate the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) diseases if all strategies are put well in place, said Bilali Camara, Country Director, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
"We care for those who are HIV+ and we will do our best to take care of them. They should keep hope alive. AIDS is a chronic disease, but it can be handled perfectly. I have seen people living with this disease for 30 years and doing very well. Life expectancy of somebody living with HIV today is the same as a normal person. People should not think that if you have HIV you cannot do what you want to. India has the potential to eradicate the disease," Camara told ANI here on Saturday on the World AIDS Day.
He said that over the years the situation has improved in India. "In general terms, the situation is improving (in India). There has been some progress in many areas. However, as long as we don't put a break on the new infections, we will continue to face the issue. 85,000 new infections per year is just too much. We have to ensure that strategies are in place which can help us to get the new infections under control. One thing that we do best is to keep the issue alive. We continue to discuss this issue with the government officials and the civil society at large to see how the issue is best understood," he added.
On Saturday several awareness programmes were held in various parts across India where experts gave advice on the precautionary measures.
A cultural program was organised at Dr Ambedkar International Centre where people from different fields came to encourage those who are HIV-infected. Many people living with the disease shared their life experience, their improvement through Antiretroviral Treatment.
Standard antiretroviral therapy (ART) consists of the combination of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to maximally suppress the HIV virus and stop the progression of HIV disease. ART also prevents onward transmission of HIV. Huge reductions have been seen in rates of death and infections when use is made of a potent ARV regimen, particularly in early stages of the disease.
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