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India is aiming to be free of AIDS by 2024

After the first HIV AIDS positive diagnosis in India in 1986, the virus almost spread like an epidemic in the country with 5.2 million infections detected over a small period of time.  It was Sellappan Nirmala’s pioneering research in 1986 that found out that HIV had made its entry in India.

Since 1986, however, India has come a long way in research and its combat with HIV AIDS.

What is HIV and What is AIDS?

What do the numbers suggest?

According to the UNAIDS data, 2017, HIV infections in India have lowered by 46%. Conversely, India still poses as the third largest epidemic in terms of HIV infection on the global map, with 2.1 million positives.

The predominant population with infections include 9.9% people who acquire infection through injected drugs, 7.2% transgenders, 4.3% gay men and other men having sex with men and 2.2% sex-workers, suggests the report.

But, the ray of hope comes from the fact that there is a remarkable drop of 66% in new cases from 2000 to 2015.

While some project that India may become completely free of AIDS by 2024, there’s still a possibility for the numbers to increase.

Here’s what the nation is doing to fight off HIV-AIDS:

In 2017, India made two announcements to help reducing the number of HIV infected people:

  • HIV/AIDS Bill Enactment: The bill will help in protecting the rights of people living with and affected by HIV.
  • Test and Treat policy: As per this policy all living with HIV are to be treated with Antiretro Viral Therapy regardless of CD4 count, clinical stage, age or population.

Also, according to the National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS and STI 2017 – 2024, the following fast-track targets will be chased by 2020:

  • 75% reduction in new HIV cases
  • 90-90-90: 90% of those who are HIV positive will know their status, 90% of those who know their status will be on treatment and 90% of those who are on treatment will observe effective viral load suppression
  • Complete elimination of mother to child virus transfer
  • Mitigating stigma and discrimination

And the plans for 2024 will aim at:

  • 80% reduction in new HIV cases
  • 95% of those who are HIV positive will know their status, 95% of those who know their status will be on treatment and 95% of those who are on treatment will observe effective viral load suppression

What’s the progress so far?

While the plans and implementations are on their way to eradicate the epidemic of HIV AIDS by 2024, there is a hope that better privileges and facilities will fall in place for HIV care.

Here’s what we can do:

Meanwhile, we can educate ourselves on the condition and required preventive measures. In India, where talking about sex is considered as a taboo, it is the need of the hour that not only youngsters, but even elderly should be made aware about the aspects of safe sex and complications.

What is safe sex?

Safe sex helps you and your partner to stay away from sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, etc.

Here are 7 ways to have safe sex:

  • Use condoms (Male & Female)
  • Discuss about safe sex with new partners
  • Use dental dams for oral sex
  • Use water or silicon based lubricants to not damage condom with friction
  • Avoid getting too drunk or high that may fail your judgement
  • Go for pap tests, pelvic tests and periodic tests for STDs
  • Read about safe sex and educate your partner as well

We hope that the nation achieves its target to get AIDS rid by 2024 and we can play a tiny role in educating the readers of HappyAging by whatever means we can.

Do let us know in comments your views about safe sex and India’s goal on AIDS eradication. If you have any questions, feel free to post in our comments section.

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