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Avahan India project prevented over 6 lakh HIV infections: Lancet

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation–funded Avahan programme may have prevented over 6 lakh HIV infections in India over 10 years, according to a report in Lancet Global Health.

It may be recalled that a 2011 study, by other institutes, also showed that the project prevented one lakh fresh HIV cases in five years in the general population by launching intervention programmes among targeted groups.

The Avahan India AIDS Initiative was launched in 2003, as a large scale, targeted intervention prevention programme and was implemented in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Manipur and Nagaland. The study looked at 69 districts in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

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Medicine shortage forces HIV patients on reduced dose

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Forced by the shortage of medicines, people living with HIV are on reduced dose.

They are dependent on life–saving antiretroviral therapy (ART) but at the ART centre in the Civil Hospital here, the stock will expire in 10 days and there's no way out but desperate measures. The centre accepts patients from Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur districts.

The reason for the short supply of medicines is non–disbursement of money from National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), country's nodal agency for the prevention and control of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). ART is a combination of highly advanced drugs to fight the HIV infection and increase the host's life expectancy. If the first line of treatment fails to control the virus load, there's also the second line of drugs. The patients who need second–line ART drugs are being referred to Government Medical College in Amritsar, in the absence of proper treatment at the centre here.

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HIV awareness for migrants in festive season

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The Odisha State AIDS Control Society (OSACS) is planning a massive drive to create awareness about HIV/AIDS among migrant labourers, who will come home during the festive season of Dussehra–Diwali–Christmas. The campaign will cost Rs 50 lakh.

"Migrant workers return home for a fortnight to a month to celebrate festivals. We will reach out to them through multiple strategies," said joint director in–charge of information, education communication (IEC) at OSACS Tripati Mishra. A preparatory training camp of district–level public health and family welfare officers was recently held here.

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India second after S Africa in healthy yrs lost to HIV/AIDS

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India is a close second to South Africa in healthy, productive years people lose to HIV/AIDS, a 2010 study published in journal AIDS shows. There were 2.4 million people estimated to have HIV in 2010 with a Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) of 9,265.13 (in thousands). DALYs represent productive years lost due to premature death or disability to HIV/AIDS.

In 2010, India accounted for 11.4 per cent of DALY's global HIV/ AIDS. The 5 countries with the largest percentage of total global deaths from HIV/AIDS are South Africa (14.6%), India (11.4%), Nigeria (11.1%), Tanzania (5.7%), Mozambique (4.7%.)

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Sudarshan Kriya can improve quality of life of PLHIVs: NARI

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Sudarshan Kriya yoga (SKY) can help People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and enhance their quality of life (QOL), a study by National AIDS Research Institute has found.

HIV/AIDS is increasingly affecting the vulnerable population in India.

In addition, the social stigma of HIV forces individuals to change their jobs or move, adding to stress and deterioration of health, lowered self–esteem and absenteeism with low productivity at the workplace.

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