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Now, Art Drugs in Madurai Too

Times of India
02 December 2010
Chennai, India

Now, Art Drugs in Madurai Too
Second line drugs for Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART), medication for treatment of the HIV virus, which were only available in Chennai and Salem will now be made available even in Madurai.

Speaking at a function held at the government hospital for thoracic medicine on the occasion of the World AIDS day on Wednesday, V K Subburaj, state health secretary spoke about the efforts by Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS) to raise funds for the Tamil Nadu Trust for Children affected by HIV/AIDS.

"There is an urgent need to raise more funds and we have approached corporate houses, banks, the port trust and film actors to donate generously. We would like to increase the funds available from 5 crore to 25 crore so that we can reach out to more children in need," he said.

Talking about the achievements of the state, M R K Paneerselvam, minister for health and family welfare, said that in order to curb the incidence of HIV in the state, there are 874 Integrated Counseling and Testing Centres (ICTC) functioning across the state and 41 ART centres that will provide free anti retroviral drugs to HIV patients. "More men suffer from HIV and we need to increase awareness about the disease," he said.

T M Anbarasan, labour welfare minister said Tamil Nadu had the dubious distinction of being one of the top ten states in the country with the highest prevalence of HIV. "Awareness, self discipline and easily accessible treatment are imperative to tackle this menace," he said.

"Tamil Nadu has been appreciated for having the maximum number of ART centres and Integrated Counseling and Testing Centres (ICTC) in the country and the number of new cases have come down from 5 to 2 lakh. By 2012 we hope to have no new cases," said Subburaj.

He also said prevention was better than cure and it was important to provide first and second line drugs to as many people as possible. "The theme for this year’s AIDS day is Universal Access and Human Rights and we must work towards universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment as part of our fundamental human rights. We have conducted massive awareness drives in 15 lakh villages," said Subburaj.

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