AIDS Remains Pandemic

On December 1, the world commemorates World AIDS Day. On this day, as per United Nations, people show support for people living with and affected by HIV and to remember those who lost their lives to AIDS.
On June 5, 1981, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an unusual fungal infection of the lungs (pneumocystis carinii pneumonia) in five gay men in Los Angeles. That was the first time the world learnt about the devastating infection caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in people with a weak immune system. AIDS remains a pandemic, and only by moving fast to end the inequalities that drive the pandemic can it be overcome. There is not a choice to be made between ending the AIDS pandemic and preparing for the pandemics of tomorrow. The only successful approach will achieve both.
A person suffering from AIDS is unfortunately often regarded as a stigma in the contemporary society and such people often become victims of ostracism, rejection and discrimination. There is need to fight this aspect of the pandemic.
Social stigma surrounding AIDS-infected people remains a challenge and the concerned must remain mindful of the scale.
If government is serious about tackling HIV, it must find ways to reach concerned groups and consider targeted interventions.
Targeted Intervention (TI) is one of the main components under NACP III. The Program is designed to reduce the rate of HIV transmission among the Core Group viz. Female Sex Workers (FSWs), Men having Sex with Men (MSMs) and Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) & Bridge populations like migrants and truckers. The TI programme is being implemented through the Community Based Organizations (CBO) and Non Governmental Organizations (NGO).
At the same time, implementing targeted interventions in J&K state does not negate the need for broader interventions in the community. In many settings, it optimizes the use of resources by focusing on the environments and populations in which the risk of HIV infection is the greatest.
The right to health is universal. Concerned authorities must take note of this to ensure that no one is left behind in the fight against HIV. There is a need for bold action against inequalities and without it, the J&K and India risks missing the targets to end AIDS by 2030, as well as a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.

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