Global Fund Urges India to Scale Up HIV Treatment Efforts

A woman living with AIDS in a hospital in India. Many AIDS patiets in India do not receive treatment on time, according to Global Fund executive director Michel Kazatchkine. Photo by: John Isaac / World Bank

The sheer number of untreated HIV cases in India could undermine the country’s efforts to prevent further transmission of the disease, the executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said.

Thousands of AIDS patients in India, which is among the top three countries with the most number of HIV cases, do not receive treatment on time, Michel Kazatchkine said according to Money Control News Center.

“There are 300,000 people receiving treatment, but that is about only one-third of all the people who are estimated to be in need of treatment,”  Kazatchkine was quoted as saying.

The Global Fund has recently approved additional funding for India’s health programs, as Devex reported. But Kazatchkine urged India to also scale up its domestic spending on health care services. The country currently spends approximately 1 percent of its gross domestic product on health care facilities.

“Clearly India is one of the countries with the smallest percent of health budget of its overall budget going into health and this is an issue,” Kazatchkine has noted.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.