Fear of HIV rise: Multiple states face condom shortages in India

This shortage of condoms being distributed by the government's AIDS control programme, is a big blow to numerous authorities that work to prevent the contraction of the disease.

FP Staff January 30, 2015 13:36:06 IST
Fear of HIV rise: Multiple states face condom shortages in India

The problem of HIV rise in Indian states was already bad enough, and now state officials have a new challenge in front of them: a huge shortage of condoms.

Fear of HIV rise Multiple states face condom shortages in India

Representational image. Agencies.

A Times of India report claims this shortage has been ongoing for the past eight months in the states that already have a high prevalence of HIV like Haryana, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh and the matter regarding this acute shortage of condoms was recently raised with the Union health ministry.

Shortage of condoms is a big blow to numerous authorities that work to prevent the contraction of the disease.

The states of Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan also face a supply crisis, which, arises from bureaucratic delays in procurement.

The public health programmes that distribute the condoms have written to the State AIDS Prevention and Control Society (SACS) and other government bodies asking for urgent replacement of supplies. According to NACO, out of 2.1 million HIV/AIDS patients in India, about 750,000 people depend on the free distribution of drugs through government-run centers.

But this is not the only problem. According to the Indian Express, healthcare providers have warned of a potential surge in new infections as the state governments have withheld funds for five months. This has lead huge cut-backs in their distribution of syringes to drug addicts, handing out condoms and facilitating blood tests within the state of  Mizoram, that has the second highest number of HIV cases in India.

According to the UN AIDS program, India had the third largest number of people living with HIV in the world at the end of 2013 it accounts for about four out of 10 people living with HIV in the Asian region.

India has been providing free antiretroviral drugs for HIV treatment since 2004, but only 50 percent of those eligible for the treatment were getting it in 2012, a report by the World Health Organization said.

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