Need social protection to curb AIDS says National Aids Control Organisation

Social protection for families affected by HIV/AIDS is one of the key strategies to prevent the spread of the disease, the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) said Tuesday.

The National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), under the leadership of department of AIDS control, recognizes the fact that reduction of vulnerability is key to the prevention, care, support and treatment of HIV/AIDS, Luv Verma, secretary, AIDS control department, said at a press conference here.

“So much so, the fourth phase of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) has social protection as one of its core strategies,” he said.

Social protection refers to public interventions to assist individuals, households and communities to manage risk better and that provides support to the critically poor.

In order to facilitate exchange of thoughts and experiences, the department of AIDS control in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India, is hosting a two-day international conference on HIV sensitive social protection.

The conference will have representation from 14 different countries which will include participants from respective governments, civil society and communities of people living with HIV.

There would also be representation from various departments and ministries of the government, civil society, marginalized groups and experts.

Approximately 200 participants are expected to attend the two-day event here beginning Wednesday. According to a 2006 study, average HIV household income is lower by 34 percent than non-HIV households.

Close to 40 percent of adults living with HIV in the country are women, of whom 43 percent live alone without any kind of assets and support systems.