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Posted on Feb 22, 08:54PM | IANS
New Delhi, Feb 22 : There has been no increase in the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in India, union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said Friday.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Azad said under the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), antiretroviral therapy (ART) centres have been established in medical colleges, district hospitals and other local hospitals in the government sector to provide treatment to people with HIV/AIDS.
The minister said there are 380 ART centres functional in the country and 604,987 patients were obtaining free drugs from these centres.
The minister said the government proposed to make 600 ART centres functional in the country by the end of 2016-17 to treat to an estimated 850,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country.
Azad said the performance of NACP has been assessed through periodic joint implementation reviews and mid-term review involving development partners.
"All the review missions reported that most of the targets under NACP have been achieved and even surpassed," he said.
Azad quoted an independent impact assessment study, funded by the World Bank, to say that the HIV epidemic in India has remained contained and has been declining in the country.
Increase in condom use in sex work as a result of targeted interventions accounted for the decline, he said quoting from the study.