TODAY -

133 months left to make U=U a reality for every person living with HIV

Shobha Shukla *



A group of people standing in front of a store Description automatically generated 193 countries committed to deliver on the promises enshrined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one of which is to end AIDS by 2030. Target to end AIDS by 2030 is also enlisted in India's National Health Policy (NHP 2017).

"Only 133 months are left to meet these targets. To end AIDS, we need to make U=U (undetectable equals untransmittable) a reality in the life of every person living with HIV" said Dr Ishwar Gilada, President of ASICON 2019, and President of AIDS Society of India (ASI), who is also on the Governing Council of the International AIDS Society (IAS). If a person living with HIV is on life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART) and virally suppressed, then risk of transmission is negligible.

"This means that 100% of the people living with HIV must know their status, 100% of them should be on life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 100% of them should be virally suppressed. We need to make U=U a reality for every person living with HIV, and achieve zero new transmission of HIV if we are to deliver on the promise of ending AIDS in the next 11 years. ASICON 2019 will also deliberate on medical aspects of ending AIDS" added Dr Gilada, who established India's first HIV clinic over 3 decades ago. He was speaking to CNS (Citizen News Service, www.citizen-news.org).

The 12th National Conference of AIDS Society of India (ASICON 2019) in Chennai, India, focusses on the theme of “Collaborate - Consolidate - Conquer”. This is the first time ASICON is being held in Tamil Nadu.

Academic partners of ASICON 2019 are National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) and Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; World Health Organization (WHO) India; International AIDS Society (IAS); Medical Council of India (MCI); UNAIDS; Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA); People’s Health Organization (PHO); and Chennai ART Symposium (CART).

Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is also the President-elect of International AIDS Society (IAS), said that since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, 75 million people have been infected with HIV (equivalent to population of Turkey). She added that 32 million people have died of AIDS related diseases (population size of Canada).

5.9 million people are living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific. Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman underlined that Asia Pacific region is not on track to meet 2020 HIV targets. 2020 target is to have fewer than 90,000 new HIV infections by 2020 in the Asia Pacific region, but currently, there are 310,000 new HIV infections in the region. New infection rate has declined but is quite far off from the 2020 target, said Prof Adeeba Kamarulzaman. 2020 target to reduce AIDS deaths is also not on track.

Most importantly Prof Adeeba Kamarulzaman emphasized that "We have to keep our focus on key populations. 78% of new HIV infection in Asia Pacific region are happening among key populations and their partners." 33% new HIV infections are happening among men who have sex with men, 25% in clients and partners of sex workers, and other key populations like people who use drugs.

"New HIV infections will escalate if we do "business as usual". Focussing on key populations is vital. We see reduction in people who use opioids, but increase in number of ATS (Amphetamine-type stimulants) users" stressed Prof Adeeba Kamarulzaman.

Dr Naresh Goel, Deputy Director General of Indian government's national AIDS programme (formally called the National AIDS Control Organization of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare), said: 2.14 million (21.4 lakhs) are living with HIV in India. 88000 new HIV infections were reported in a year in India. 1.345 million (13.45 lakh) people living with HIV are receiving antiretroviral therapy. In India, 69,000 people died due to AIDS related deaths.

HIV is a concentrated epidemic in India, said Dr Naresh Goel of NACO. Female sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender and Hijra, people who use drugs etc are key populations in Indian context too.

As of 2017, India’s progress towards 90-90-90 target is yet to catch the pace to meet the 2020 targets: 79% of all people living with HIV were aware of their status, of these 71% were on ART (that is 55% of all people living with HIV), and number of people who are virally suppressed is also increasing, although lagging behind from the 90-90-90 target.

Dr N Kumarasamy, Co-Chair of ASICON 2019, Secretary General of ASI, and the Chief & Director of Infectious Diseases Medical Centre at Voluntary Health Services (VHS) Hospital in Chennai said: “After India adopted WHO‘s Test & Treat strategy as a national policy, the entire machinery has been gearing up to achieve the target of 90:90:90 by 2020. But we need to aspire to scale up the HIV care to reach not just 90% but 100% of people living with HIV.

Several new Antiretroviral (ARV) molecules and ART combinations are available in current times, and this is changing the entire treatment paradigm. Treatment as prevention must be a norm, so that all people living with HIV get ART, due to which amount of virus in their blood will get reduced to undetectable levels, and their risk of transmitting HIV becomes negligible, making U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable) a reality.”

Dr Susan Swindells, Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA, said people living with HIV are more at risk of tuberculosis (TB), due to which, collaboration is key between HIV and TB programmes. This is also an area where Indian drug manufacturers have made a huge difference by co-formulating drugs so that people with TB and HIV have to take fewer drugs. TB is the biggest killer infectious disease globally.

Dr Susan Swindells called for stronger action on preventing TB. Latent TB (not active TB disease) progresses to active disease. Diagnosing and treating latent TB is key so that people with latent TB are not at risk of progressing to active TB disease. There are treatment options available for people with latent TB. Latest scientific research gives hope as treatment duration is being reduced to 3 months, and even 1 month therapy is being researched upon. Preventing TB is an important part of the end TB strategy.

India is the third-highest HIV burden country in the world (2.14 million) after South Africa (7.1 million) and Nigeria (3.2 million). Highest prevalence of HIV among Indian states is in Mizoram at 2.04%. Tamil Nadu, the host state of ASICON 2019, has HIV prevalence rate of 0.22% (same as national average).

Compared to the national average of people living with HIV on ART (55%), the state of Tamil Nadu has shown remarkable progress by delivering ART to 79% of people living with HIV. 69% of pregnant women living with HIV in Tamil Nadu are receiving ART, which is higher than the national average of 60%.


* Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service) wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is the Managing Editor of CNS (Citizen News Service) Follow her on Twitter @shobha1shukla or visit www.citizen-news.org)
This article was posted on November 30, 2019 .


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Training for Para Legal at Bishnupur
  • Assam, Tripura standing alone
  • Mother Courage– synonymous to Nupi Lal
  • Nupi Lan Ningsing Lamjel #1: Gallery
  • Nupi Lan Day (State): Gallery
  • North East is burning hot in cold december
  • CAB 2019 : Proposal & reactions
  • The great cosmic discovery - IV
  • Remembering Dr BR Ambedkar #2
  • Epicentres of CAB protests
  • Beginning with a protective mechanism
  • RK Meghen at Imphal [28 Nov] #3: Gallery
  • Destination NE @ Vanarasi #2: Gallery
  • Fireflies : Doc Film at Kathmandu Fest
  • Remove State Women Comm Chairperson
  • CAB 2019 : Great Constitutional Blunder
  • The Early Winter's Song :: Poem
  • 'Kumbhakarnas' have 'waked up'!
  • The Killing Fields 2013-19 : News Timeline
  • Against the enactment of CAB : DAMMS
  • Where is the solidarity ?
  • Traffic mess again
  • Mister Manipur 2019 #1 : Gallery
  • Nupi Lan- Women War Of Manipur: Articles
  • Stealthy swearing-in post, cabinet approval
  • Horrors of Kuki Rebellion 1917-1919
  • Relevance of Nehru today #3
  • Thadou Inpi welcomes ILP in Manipur
  • CAB: Protest at Jantar Mantar
  • Centre- yes to ILP; Understanding the crux
  • Extension of ILPS - Too early for celebration
  • Photos from 2012-2019 : Inner Line Permit
  • Miss Kut at Imphal #5: Gallery
  • Demand for Inner Line Permit (ILP) : Articles
  • Brahmacharimayum Mahendra : Silpbhusan
  • My worries in filing stories about Assembly
  • Silver jubilee of Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak
  • My DSLR Journey :: Travelogue
  • Career in CAPF
  • Killing 2 birds, 1 stone : No CAB, Yes ILPS
  • A phone call that overwhelm our CM
  • NTC opposes Pan Naga Hoho post solution
  • Inauguration: Sangai Fest #1: Gallery
  • Gaiguilung, Changbombi : eMing
  • Induction of NCC Microlite Aircraft : Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Is disruption possible in Manipur politics?
  • Sex education: The unspeakable undeniable
  • CAB: Protest at Delhi University
  • KASHISH 2020 : Queer Film Festival
  • The rape circle is complete
  • WC refutes NNC pledging support to FA
  • Communities @ Shirui Lily Fest #1 : Gallery
  • Winter Relief @Tokpaching : Gallery
  • My way only :: Poem
  • Remembering Dr BR Ambedkar #1
  • Winter Relief Service at Arong Khunou
  • Karnataka-Manipur Cultural Festival
  • Workshop on MOOCs at NEHU
  • Beauty essential while traveling in winter
  • Reinstate workers fired in FCI
  • Significance of windows
  • Thanga Ningol to mapam #3 : Gallery
  • Xmas shopping @CCpur [Dec 6] : Gallery
  • Irawat and 1939 Women's War
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Cannot end AIDS without combating AMR
  • Power of Pranayama #2
  • Jobs @ Birla Emporiums, Khurai
  • Memo to BOSEM, Manipur
  • Appreciation to Kuki Iron Lady
  • Questions over 'instant justice'
  • Optimist perspectives
  • NE bandh call on Dec 10 against CAB
  • Football: Manipur vs Mandalay #2: Gallery
  • Flower festival at Mao : Gallery
  • #iWill :: Poem
  • H Nageshwar : Expedition to Antarctica
  • Relevance of Nehru today #2
  • Climate Change & Agricultural hurdles
  • The Rat on the Run :: Poem
  • Info from Delhi; Reading ILPS idea
  • Confusing the constitution
  • Finding on Yek of Meitei & Hao #1
  • Miss Kut at Imphal #4: Gallery
  • A Girl with Golden Hair :: Poem
  • NEP for Skill India
  • The great cosmic discovery - III
  • Interference by TA & Hills official
  • A one line statement from Amit Shah
  • Insertion of a clause to Peoples' Bill
  • RK Meghen at Imphal [28 Nov] #2: Gallery
  • Midnight drama, hush-hush swearing-in
  • Plight of peasants in the hills #2
  • Jobs @ Kanglei Khoni, Langthabal
  • Drones can be an innovative career
  • Winners @ South Asian Games
  • Winners @ Asian Athletic C'ship
  • Waiting for CBI probe
  • When the savior turns perpetrator
  • Tapta: Jayenta Loukrakpam :: A Profile
  • Destination North East @ Vanarasi : Gallery
  • Winter Book Sales at Manipur University
  • The Vow :: Poem
  • Written assurance is still not tenable
  • Protest against rape of woman vet
  • From 2012 to 2019 no change
  • The 'Trust' factor
  • NSCN (IM) clarifies on 'calendar' issue
  • Centre assures flights betn IMF & Mandalay
  • Sanathong Water Fall, Chandel : Gallery
  • Facts about Naga insurgency #2
  • CC Meet 2019 : Match Fixture
  • Commemoration Kuki Rebellion 1917-1919
  • Moirangthem Sushilkr : Honorary Doctorate
  • Power of Pranayama #1
  • Khumang: 'Science for Society' Report
  • A fresh look at ST demand
  • Wakching Thana Lakpada #1 :: eRang
  • Football: Manipur Vs Mandalay : Gallery
  • December Calendar for Year 2019 : Tools
  • Why not carve out a future in Chakhao ?
  • Relevance of Nehru today #1
  • The great cosmic discovery - II
  • Diversion - the age old shrewd game
  • Lamhui amashung Keishal : Funga
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Kut : State level @Imphal #4: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival: Extended till 2nd Dec
  • 133 months left to make U=U (on HIV)
  • Galaxy Roy & my Sainik memories
  • Need to silence the loud mouth
  • CAB issue raise in Zero Hour
  • RK Meghen at Imphal [28 Nov] #1: Gallery
  • Plight of peasants in the hills #1
  • Nawa Loude :: Poem
  • Awarded, outdated currencies & MCS/MPS
  • Social Unrest in N-E Regions
  • Winter care for beautiful hair
  • No harm but a clause needed: The absurdity
  • A blow to survival
  • Leirum- used in Luhongba : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba Shopping #2 : Gallery
  • Road safety in Manipur: need to plug gap
  • AAI steps up effort for gender equality
  • Preparing children before diagnostic test
  • Licypriya Kangujam embarks on 5 Nations
  • One Word of Truth :: Poem
  • Riders in the assurance of Amit Shah
  • GK Pillai's way out and today's Manipur
  • Mera Houchongba @Kangla #5: Gallery
  • Facts on Naga insurgency & its impact #1
  • Binodkumar: public urinal with plastic waste
  • Joining Indian Navy as sailors
  • National Constitution Day observed
  • Condemn incident of molestation in CCpur
  • After a date with Amit Shah
  • Sustaining Evening daily- challenging task
  • Culturals @ Shirui Fest #3: Gallery
  • Banana Festival @ Noney #2 : Gallery
  • Air pollution rise what do common man do
  • Conversation with Prof Rajendra Kshetri
  • 'It is a unique experience to play polo here'
  • The great cosmic discovery - I
  • Make Delhi trip meaningful !
  • Confusing stand; confusing act
  • Manipur Polo International: Opening: Gallery
  • Kut : State level @Imphal #3: Gallery
  • Kalum Kai: House of worship of Zeliangrong
  • Christian virtues
  • Blame it on Farmers for Pollution
  • Title: Square one ? :: Poem
  • Bucket of cold water after a hot shower
  • Radio-tagged Amur falcon flies to Africa
  • Myanmar Air KBZ flight to Imphal: Gallery
  • Alert Rally @ Sagolband : Gallery
  • 50th International Film Festival
  • World Antibiotics Awareness Week (WAAW)
  • CAB : Indians are not foreigners
  • Dissolution of TSA Imphal Branch
  • Anti-corruption crusade at time of CAB
  • Gandhari (Dance Drama) #2 : Gallery
  • Epilogue to Nambul Nostalgia :: Poem
  • Hostile education system in Northeast
  • Stigma and mental illness
  • Paulallungmuan: 12 yr-old at Class X exam
  • 3 from Manipur named Unsung Heroes
  • Raids at Imphal, Aizawl, Gurgaon
  • Make sure that Sangai fest is successful
  • Laonii Festival, Poumai #2 : Gallery
  • Khamba Thoibi Museum #2 : Gallery
  • Enigma of Unique Histories
  • When God's people humble
  • The great cosmic discovery - V
  • TB prevention is no longer a choice..
  • Stakeholders to be consulted: Final pact
  • The unresolved crisis
  • IM leaders camping along India-Myanmar
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #3 : Gallery
  • Licypriya- SDG Ambassador Award: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #5: Gallery
  • Whither Pangals ?
  • Licypriya Kangujam: SDG Ambassador
  • Blood Donation Camp at Benguluru
  • The Sun on the Western Horizon :: Poem
  • Rejoinder to NDPP [20 November]
  • Regarding resignation of NPF Youth Wing
  • Rider to be exempted from CAB: ILP
  • Truth, sincerity & commitment ...
  • CAB : Total Shutdown - Nov 19 : Gallery
  • CAB : Sit In Protest - Nov 19 : Gallery
  • Dr Sanajaoba (Dr KS Singh): Reminiscence
  • Career option in technical writing
  • What Mindset does Govt of Manipur have ?
  • 12 Members resigned from NPF
  • Where is the special clause in CAB?
  • Please understand CAB; future is at stake
  • CAB protest - Nov 18 : Gallery
  • Children's Day @CM Bungalow : Gallery
  • Why CAB is being opposed in North East
  • Meeteis' paradox
  • A Vision :: Poem
  • NE development: Lean on regional planning
  • Sand War- deadly war against mother Earth
  • From 'ahead of final pact' to CAB
  • Can Meitei, Naga & Kuki jointly resist CAB?
  • Mera Houchongba @Kangla #4: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba Fish Fair #2: Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River : 100 Poems
  • Culturals @ Shirui Fest #2: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Pune : Gallery
  • Rani Hingchabi :: Funga Wari
  • Salt brines : Source of Meitei Thum
  • Ema Keithel (Khwairamband) #2: Gallery
  • Thanga Ningol to mapam #2 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba @ Korea : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba @ Mysore #2 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba & Kut at Korea
  • Ningol Chakkouba by Journalists : Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View
  • SPONSORED ADS