The CATA delegation, led by Dr. Chinkholal Thangsing, Asia Pacific Bureau Chief, for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and the President of India Cares, pressed the Prime Minister to help improve access to medical care and treatment for HIV and AIDS, including increasing access to both first and second-line lifesaving antiretroviral treatments in India.
A delegation from India’s Coalition of AIDS Treatment Access (CATA), a diverse group of civil society partners who engage the collective advocacy interests of all the participating members towards better HIV/AIDS treatment, efficient treatment facilities and efficacy in treatment provision for people living with HIV/AIDS throughout India met Dr. Manmohan Singh, the honourable Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has assured a delegation from Coalition of AIDS Treatment Access (CATA) that the provision for second-line lifesaving antiretroviral treatment would be gradually extended to cover all those in need throughout the country.
The CATA delegation, which also submitted 10,000 letters of appeal to the PM recently seeking universal access to treatment and second-line drugs, was told that the government was taking the issue of treatment to AIDS patients as a priority.
CATA represents 40 organisations engaged in the betterment of HIV/AIDS treatment, efficient treatment facilities and efficacy in treatment provision for people living with HIV/AIDS throughout India. The delegation was led by Dr Chinkholal Thangsing, Asia Pacific Bureau Chief, for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and the president of India Cares.
The delegation appealed for revitalized prevention campaigns that will reach communities at risk and will stop the transmission of the deadly virus; universal access to treatment for all and accessible HIV testing services that will reach all of the communities including rural India. It also appealed for unlimited provision and availability of life-saving second line antiretroviral therapy for all needing second line drugs; an increase in access to anti-retroviral therapy (ART) treatment centres especially in rural areas as well as women-specific and paediatric treatment centres. The delegation also sought government intervention to reduce denial of services on the above grounds to establish a mechanism to bring together government and civil societies including people living with HIV/AIDS to address such issues.
They also pressed for intervention to pass HIV/AIDS bill in the Parliament to safeguard and protect the right of people living with HIV/AIDS in India at the earliest and a de-centralized approach to increase responsibility in addressing HIV/AIDS prevention, education, treatment, care and support and asked to make NACO more accountable, transparent and more people friendly in providing comprehensive prevention, treatment and care services for people with HIV/AIDS in India.
The delegation also included Nochiketa Mohanty (AHF, India Cares), Birendra Soni (Student Global AIDS Campaign), Rakesh Kumar (Social Empowerment of Villagers Association), Umesh Gour (Confederation of Community Based Organizations), Amod Dalela (Saubhagya, All India Foundation of Social Work), Kamini (Saubhagya), Francis D'Mello (Love Life Society) and Asha (Positive Women).