The available surveillance data clearly indicates that HIV is prevalent in almost all parts of the country. In the recent years it has spread from urban to rural areas and from individuals practicing risk behaviour to the general population. Studies indicate that more and more women attending ante-natal clinics are testing HIV-positive thereby increasing the risk of perinatal transmission. The attributable factors for such rapid spread of the epidemic across the country today are labour migration and mobility in search of employment from economically backward to more advanced regions, low literacy levels leading to low awareness among the potential high risk groups, gender disparity, sexually transmitted infections and reproductive tract infections both among men and women. The social stigma attached to sexually transmitted infections also holds good for HIV/AIDS. The effects of stigma are devastating. Discrimination against People Living With HIV/AIDS denies them access to treatment, services and support and hinders effective responses. It creates a climate in which decisive action from the government may be side stepped. There have been cases of refusal of treatment and other services to AIDS patients in hospitals and nursing homes both in Government and private sectors. This has compounded the misery of the AIDS patients. More often it is mistaken to be a contagious disease and patients are isolated in the wards creating a scare among the general patients. In the workplace there are cases of discrimination leading, on some occasions, to loss of employment. The active part played by some non-Governmental organisations in bringing out public interest litigations against such cases of discrimination and the judicial pronouncements by courts in support of the rights of such people has partly helped in alleviating the misery of the affected persons. People Living With HIV/AIDS have provided the best response to the stigma and the denial that shroud the epidemic. They bring faces and voices to the realities.
Reference : naco.gov.in
The general objective of the policy is to prevent the epidemic from spreading further and to reduce the impact of the epidemic not only upon the infected persons but upon the health and socio-economic status of the general population at all levels. The policy envisages effective containment of the infection levels of HIV/AIDS in the general population in order to achieve zero-level of new infections by 2007. The specific objectives of the policy are:
Reference : naco.gov.in