MAY 6, 2011: The Delhi government is mulling grant of financial assistance and nutritional support to HIV infected persons in the city. It has also decided to provide free diagnostic tests for HIV infected persons in Delhi Government hospitals. Further the government has decided to involve Department of Labour and Delhi Police in the State AIDS Council so that coordinated efforts should be made to overcome this disease. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit chaired the 3rd meeting of the State AIDS Council in Delhi Secretariat on May 5.
Dikshit asked the concerned departments to come out with a comprehensive plan to provide financial assistance to HIV infected persons. The plan must include all details on identification of beneficiaries and disbursement of monthly financial assistance. Further the infected persons will also be provided nutritional support as such support is required due to strong dose medicines being taken by them. The Council decided to take on board the representatives of Department of Labour and Delhi Police and intensify the on-going awareness program against HIV AIDS. It was also decided to take up mapping of massage parlours with an aim to assess the knowledge, behavior, attitude and practices of the workers, clients and owners of 1050 massage parlours and categorize them by assessment of vulnerability. It was reported that 18% of massage parlours observed to be having risky behavior activities. Based on this, complete intervention for massage parlours has been proposed to NACO for 2011-12.
It was decided to provide free diagnostic facilities like CT Scan, MRI, ultra-sound, special blood and other tests to HIV infected persons in Delhi Government Hospitals. Delhi is a low HIV prevalence state. Prevalence in general population is 0.21%. The state is implementing the 3rd phase of NACP with aim to halt and reverse the epidemic over next 5 years by integrating programs for prevention, care, support and treatment and specific objective of reducing the number of new infection by 40%. There has been reduction in new HIV infections by 30% since 2007. A total number of 30,738 HIV positive people have registered in HIV care at nine Anti Retro Therapy (ART) centers in Delhi. Out of them 14,355 were initiated on Anti Retroviral treatment based on eligibility. 8711 people on ART are still there and availing treatment currently.
The meeting was attended by Vice-chairperson & Health Minister Dr. A.K. Walia, Social Welfare & WCD Minister Prof. Kiran Walia, Labour & Industries Minister Ramakant Goswami, Chief Secretary P.K. Tripathi, Principal Secretary to CM M.M. Kutty, Secretary (Health) Rajendra Kumar and all other members of Council.