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Dr Harsh Vardhan addresses Global Prevention Coalition for HIV Prevention
By TOG News Service
Nov 19, 2020

TOG NEWS SERVICE, NEW DELHI, NOV 19, 2020: DR Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare digitally addressed the Ministerial meeting of the Global Prevention Coalition (GPC) for HIV Prevention, here yesterday through Video Conference.

Hosted by UNAIDS and UNFPA on behalf of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition (GPC), the conference this year holds significance in achieving the 2016 UNGA commitment to end AIDS by 2030. Member States of GPC had agreed to reduce new adult HIV infections by 75% at the end of 2020 from 2010 levels.

Acknowledging that Global AIDS response has shown remarkable success in reducing new infections, improving access to prevention services for key population and treatment services for People living with HIV (PLHIV), reducing AIDS related mortality, enabling reduction in mother to child transmission of HIV and creating an enabling environment, Dr. Harsh Vardhan noted that the organization "has shown to the world a model where multiple stakeholders can come together and work cohesively towards a common goal."

Dr. Harsh Vardhan expressed his elation at the fact that the provision of generic Anti-Retroviral drugs (ARV) from India to the world has had a critical impact in controlling the HIV epidemic. He also observed that the global AIDS response in general has been a fountainhead of innovative service delivery models with rich civil society involvement and cross learning.

Speaking on India's unique HIV prevention model which is centeredaround the concept of 'Social Contracting' through which the Targeted Interventions (TI) programme is implemented, the Union Health Minister remarked, "With support from Non-Government Organizations, the programme is aimed at providing outreach, service delivery, counselling & testing and ensuring linkages to HIV care. India's prevention model can be adopted and scaled up in many countries by tailoring the intervention as per local settings. It can also be replicated in other prevention and disease control programmes."

Dr. Harsh Vardhan elaborated how India protected the gains made in HIV prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic. "The Government of India took swift and timely action by involving communities, civil society, development partners to reach out to the last mile with a robust implementation plan for ARV dispensation. The Government also linked key populations and PLHIV to various social welfare schemes. Advisories and guidance notes were issued by NACO from time to time aligned with global guidelines in the context", he stated.