Health ministry launches mission ‘Sampark’ to trace HIV infected patients

Anupriya Patel, Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), urged to join hands in this fight against HIV to end the epidemic by 2030, at a function to mark World AIDS Day, 2017 organised by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Anupriya patel

Anupriya Patel launched the National Strategic Plan 2017-24 and Mission ‘Sampark’, to trace those who are Left to Follow Up and are to be brought under Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) services. “I pay tribute to all the lives lost to HIV/AIDS not just in India but globally; today let’s pledge that no more lives are lost to HIV anymore,” said Anupriya Patel, Minister of State (Health and  Family Welfare).

Speaking at the event, Anupriya Patel informed, “11.5 lakh people living with HIV (PLHIVs) are taking free ART through 536 ART centres in the country. We still have a big challenge to trace those who are Left to Follow Up and are to be brought under ART services. In this direction, the “Community Based Testing” to take HIV testing closer to those in need, will help in fast-tracking the identification of all who are HIV positive and subsequently linking to ART programme.”

She added, “The National Strategic Plan 2017-24, will pave a road-map not only for achieving the target of 90:90:90, but also strive along with partners towards fast track strategy of ending the AIDS epidemic by the year 2030.”

According to Patel, “The next seven years are, therefore, critical and investments made now will result in substantive gains towards ‘End of AIDS’,”. One of our major focus areas is the prevention of dual infection i.e. mother to child transmission of hiv and mother to child transmission of syphilis.”

Patel stated that the political commitment of government for an all-inclusive AIDS response is proved by the fact that the long awaited HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, Act, 2017 has been enacted.

“This landmark act is people-centric, progressive in nature and brings in legal sanction to address the discrimination faced by People Living with HIV at various settings. Now, all who are infected and affected with HIV are legally protected from any social, medical, educational, employment and financial discrimination,” said Patel.