Statement by India delivered during the 43rd Programme Coordinating Board Meeting of UNAIDS on Item 1.3: Report of the Executive Director by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary (WHO HQs, 11-13 December, 2018)

Statement by India delivered during the 43rd Programme Coordinating Board Meeting of UNAIDS on Item 1.3: Report of the Executive Director by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary (WHO HQs, 11-13 December, 2018)

Thank you, Madam Chair.

2. We welcome the report of the Executive Director Dr. Sidibe and his realism coupled with optimism. His vision and leadership has been instrumental in our collective progress as UNAIDS through country led and owned responses and its continuation will be critical for fulfilling the Agenda 2030.

3. Today, 75% of people living with HIV know their status, 79% have access to treatment and 81% of those have suppressed viral loads. The ambitious goal of the three zeros serve as a useful framework for action. Prevention of HIV/AIDS would be key in realizing this goal.

4. Our success will depend on our ability to identify, mobilize and sustain the required resources and effectively implement the identified actions.

5. We appreciate UNAIDS ongoing work to define resource requirements and programmatic targets beyond 2020 and leave no one behind, especially women, children or those in vulnerable situations.

6. Globally, there are huge disparities in progress on the fast track targets 90-90-90 and gaps in resources. More un-earmarked and sustained funding is needed especially for countries dependent on international support.

7. We support a fully funded and sustainable Unified Budget, Results and Accountability Framework (UBRAF) as it provides an instrument to maximize the coherence, coordination and impact of the United Nations response to AIDS by combining the efforts of the UN Cosponsors and UNAIDS Secretariat.

Madam Chair,

8. India is among countries well on track towards achieving the SDG target of ending AIDS by 2030.

9. We have come a long way in addressing the AIDS epidemic. Strong political will along with concerted and collective efforts with the participation of those living with HIV or affected populations and civil society Organisations, have contributed to achievements in pushing back the epidemic.

10. Having already succeeded in achieving the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 i.e. over 50% reduction in annual new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths, we are now building on lessons learnt to revise the national approach to reach ‘the last mile’.

11. Our National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS and STIs 2017-2024 envisions “Paving Way for an AIDS Free India” through the mission of attaining universal coverage of HIV prevention, treatment to care continuum of services that are effective, inclusive, equitable and adapted to needs for achieving the goal of zero new infections, zero AIDS related deaths and zero discrimination.

12. We have enacted the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017 to provide the legal framework for eliminating stigma and discrimination against people affected by HIV.

13. We have adopted the 'Test and Treat' policy which will extend treatment to everyone tested positive for HIV, irrespective of their CD4 count.

14. Through the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, there is a nationwide drive, across public and private sectors, to offer all pregnant women with comprehensive antenatal care, including HIV testing to eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV and Syphilis.

15. By 2020, the focus of the national programme will be on achieving the following fast track targets: (i) 75% reduction in new HIV infections, (ii) 90-90-90: 90% of those who are HIV positive in the country know their status, 90% of those who know their status are on treatment and 90% of those who are on treatment experience effective viral load suppression, (iii) Elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Syphilis, and (iv) Elimination of stigma and discrimination.

16. By 2024, the further achievements envisaged are: (i) 80% reduction in new HIV infections, (ii) Ensuring that 95% of those who are HIV positive in the country know their status, 95% of those who know their status are on treatment and 95% of those who are on treatment experience effective viral load suppression

Madam Chair,

17. Access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines remains critical to combating AIDS. More than 80% of the quality antiretroviral drugs used globally are supplied by the Indian pharmaceutical industry. We are committed to ensuring that the quality generic ARV drugs from India continue to be available to all those who need it.

18. Greater international collaboration and partnership is needed for capacity building, technology transfer and the full use of TRIPS flexibilities to help eliminate the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030. Needless to add that capacity building efforts should involve civil society and other stakeholders.

19. India stands committed to take every possible step to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic and all forms of dis-crimination & stigma associated with people living with HIV.

20. We take this opportunity to thank UNAIDS and other development partners for their continued support and cooperation to India in this cause. We look forward to a constructive engagement and fruitful outcomes in this 43rd PCB meeting.

Thank You.

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