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Thu24Apr2014

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HIV/AIDS policy incorporates new approach to blood donation

A National Policy for Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS is approved after four years of deliberations

A new National Policy for Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS incorporates a National Blood Policy aimed at assuring safe blood supply by promoting voluntary blood donation and phasing out all private blood banks.

The policy was approved on Tuesday in a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister A B Vajpayee.

The policy reaffirms the government's commitment to prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, reduction of its social impact, and securing the rights of affected people to get access to the health care system, education, employment and privacy.

Its other main objectives include greater community participation by enlisting support of a large number of NGOs and community-based organisations and preventing women, children and other socially vulnerable groups from becoming infected by HIV/AIDS. The policy addresses issues related to gender, human rights, HIV testing, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, condom promotion, counselling and intravenous drug use.

The policy comes after over four years of bureaucratic deliberations and is based on a draft document prepared by the union health ministry in 1997.

Official estimates put the number of HIV-positive cases in India at 3.86 million. Around 70 per cent infections are reported to be among men and 85 per cent of transmission takes place through multi-partner sex, both among high-risk groups and the general population.

Source: Deccan Herald,
-- Hindustan Times, April 3