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NACO Bows to Activists' Pressure on AIDS Treatment in India, Says AHF
Date:11/22/2007

NACO to Finally Announce Second-Line AIDS Treatment Provision on World AIDS

Day

NEW DELHI, India, Nov. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bowing to an increasing need for more effective AIDS treatments in India and recent high-profile public advocacy from a broad coalition of AIDS activists, India's National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) and Health Minister A. Ramadoss will announce the rollout of lifesaving second-line antiretroviral treatment (ART) in India in a ceremony on World AIDS Day, Saturday, December 1st. NACO's rollout of second-line AIDS treatment will begin in January, and the government's initial goal is to have 5,000 people on second-line ART by the end of December 2008.

Earlier this month, a group of activists and organizations including AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and AHF/India Cares joined together as the Coalition for Treatment Access (CATA) in a public appeal to the Honorable Dr. Manmohan Singh, India's Prime Minister, urging him to intercede and direct NACO to rollout second-line treatment in India. The appeal was delivered in a formal letter to the Prime Minister and also was shared with Indian civil society in a print advertisement which ran in major Indian newspapers including The Hindu (New Delhi) and the Financial Express (Mumbai) on Thursday November 15, 2007.

"We are pleased that NACO will finally begin providing second-line treatment; however, 5,000 people is a small percentage of those that do need, or will soon need, the treatments in India, and we urge NACO to consider this as they develop and finalize its rollout strategy," said Chinkholal Thangsing, M.D., Asia Pacific Bureau Chief for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and who is based in New Delhi. "Time is of the essence to saves these lives, and NACO's announcement, although long-awaited, is short on urgency and on the scale required. AHF/India Cares already provides second line treatment to some of our patients in nee
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SOURCE AIDS Health Foundation
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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