National Conference on HIV/AIDS awareness AIDSCON-9

Chandigarh/16th January,2020: Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society held a National Conference on HIV/AIDS awareness AIDSCON-9 scheduled on 17th and 18th January,2020.

During the press conference Dr.Naresh Goel, Deputy Director General (IEC), National AIDS Control Organization, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India addressed the media and made them aware of the Conference.

According to the HIV Estimations 2017, the estimated number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in India was 21.40 lakh in 2017. (Source India HIV Estimations 2017 Technical Report prepared by NACO & National Institute of Medical Statistics). In Chandigarh, as of Dec 2019, there are 11359 PLHIV registered cases for care and 6425 alive and on treatment.

The adult (15-49 age group) HIV prevalence at the national level has continued it’s a steady decline from an estimated level of 0.38% in 2001-03 to 0.22% in 2017 (Source India HIV Estimations 2017 Technical Report prepared by NACO & National Institute of Medical Statistics).

In Chandigarh, the prevalence of HIV has shown a steady decline from 0.27% in 2008 to 0.11% in 2019. In FY 2019-20, of the total 85481 people tested for HIV, 420 were positive and of this, 117 were from Chandigarh.

NATIONAL TARGET

End AIDS as a public health problem by 2030.

To ensure that at least 90% of people with HIV infection know their status and at least 90% of these are put on treatment and at least 90% of those on treatment, are regular and adhere to treatment so that they have undetectable viral load and transmission of HIV is stopped. Move towards Zero new infections among children by scaling up the PPTCT regime. Eliminate Transmission from Mother to Child of HIV & Syphilis by 2020.

NEW INITIATIVE

Enhanced Testing
Implementation of Test & Treat Policy.
Bring back LFU
EMTCT by 2020 – HIV/Syphilis
a) Ensure 100% testing &* treatment of every Pregnant Woman
b) Early diagnosis of HIV in an infant from 6 weeks to 18 months
Removal of Stigma – Role of Law
HIV/AIDS Act of 2017
Supreme Court Repeals Section 377
Increased testing centers from 18 to 26 which includes Standalone ICTC, FICTC & PPP Model ICTC
HIV/TB collaboration
2 ART Centres – PGIMER & GMCH 32
Community-Based Screening
To achieve fast track targets following strategies have been piloted in different parts of the country and would be implemented among key Populations in Chandigarh
Peer navigation and index case testing
Virtual outreach
Differentiated prevention service delivery
Secondary distribution of commodities (condoms and needles & syringes)

TARGETED INTERVENTIONS (TI) FOR HIGH-RISK GROUPS (HRGS):

TI projects are being implemented among core population of Female Sex Workers (FSWs), Men having Sex with Men (MSM), Transgender (TGs), Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) and among Bridge population of Migrants and Truckers through partner NGOs

Following are service delivery components of the TI program:-
Behaviour Change Communication
Condom distribution to the core population
Condom social marketing to bridge population
Outreach services through outreach workers and peer educators
Counseling services
HIV testing
Linkages & referrals to health & non-health service outlets
Management of Sexually Transmitted Infections
Needle/Syringe program for IDUs
Opioid Substitution Therapy for IDUs
Creating an enabling environment for all key populations and
Advocacy to reduce stigma & discrimination

Chandigarh SACS has adopted a differentiated prevention service delivery model among the core population. The population which is linked with NGOs for more than five years, have not reported any STIs in past three years, and has attained low risk and vulnerability score are kept in separate line list with the less focussed approach. Instead, the NGOs enroll new HRGs in their line list with a focus on uncovered areas to bring any HIV +ve HRGs in the fold of TI for effective service delivery. The strategy has helped and enrolment of the newer key populations with NGOs has increased.

SOCIAL WELFARE SCHEMES FOR PLHIVs:

Free Road transportation
Free Treatment
Antodaya Anna Yojana:- 317 infected persons are the beneficiaries.
Widow pension:- A sum of `1000/- PM is being given to the widows of HIV infected persons. Currently, there are 28 widows are getting benefits under the said scheme.
Children Scholarship:- A sum of `700/- PM is being given to children infected/ affected by HIV. Currently, there are 178 Children getting the benefit under this scheme.
Free Legal Help:- there is a provision for providing free legal help to HIV infected/ affected persons with the help of State Legal Services Authority, U.T, Chandigarh though no situation/ need occurred to use this facility till now.
Grievance Redressal Committee:- Grievance Redressal complaint boxes are placed at three important locations of Chandigarh, in these boxes, anyone can put his /her complaint without disclosing their identity. The committee meets under the Chairmanship of Secretary Health, every two to three months to address the problems of PLHIV.
Short Stay Home for Women and Orphanage for CLHIV:- These facilities are also available with the help of the Department of Social Welfare, though no situation/ need occurred to use these facilities till now.
Free Investigations at ART Centre PGIMER.
Free Nutrition supplement to HIV/TB cases towards the better recovery of HIV-TB patients and motivation towards drug adherence.

MAJOR MAINSTREAMING ACTIVITIES

State Council on AIDS (SCA)
Interdepartmental Coordination Committee meetings
Joint Working Groups” (JWGs) with various departments
HIV/AIDS (Control & Prevention) ACT 2017
HIV Awareness among women under the scheme of Sawdhaar and Ujjwala
Liaison with Panchyati Raj
Youth Awareness
Liaison with Chandigarh Police
Awareness for Prisoners
Training of CRPF & ITBP
Liaison with the Department of Transport
Industrial labor and Construction Workers
State Legal Services Authority

IEC ACTIVITIES

Continuous effort to spread awareness and education on HIV/AIDS is going on. Innovative activities are being carried out by the Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society.
Teej festival at Rock Garden from 9th to 11th August, 2019.
A cyclotron-mass cycle awareness rally on 10th November, 2019.
Nature and Wild Life trekking on 6th October, 2019.
Chandigarh Carnival from 20th to 22nd December, 2019.
World AIDS Day 2019 on 1st December at 27 different locations in Chandigarh.

AIDSCON – 9 WILL HAVE SESSIONS WHERE THE OUTCOMES OF ABOVE STRATEGIES BEING IMPLEMENTED IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE COUNTRY WOULD BE DELIBERATED UPON.