LOS ANGELES -- AIDS Healthcare Foundation, (AHF) the largest AIDS organization in the United States, which currently operates free AIDS treatment clinics in the United States, Africa and Central America, and Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM), a respected Indian NGO, announce a groundbreaking new clinic partnership -- AHF's first such venture in Asia -- that will bring life-saving anti-retroviral therapy (ART) to people living with HIV/AIDS in Karnataka State in Southern India.
AHF, under its AHF Global Immunity program, has joined forces with Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement to provide ART to patients at facilities in
"AIDS is truly on the doorstop of
"This is the first effort of its kind wherein a nationally reputed NGO like the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, an international NGO like AHF and the Government of Karnataka State, India have all come together to fight the scourge of HIV/AIDS," said Dr. R. Balasubramaniam, president of Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement.
"The clinic in
Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM), is a registered, voluntary social service organization started by a group of medicos of
AHF Global Immunity is a non-profit, international initiative of AIDS Healthcare Foundation that works in partnership with local stakeholders to establish replicable, scalable and sustainable models for HIV/AIDS medical services delivery in resource-constrained settings.
The two new Indian AIDS treatment facilities will operate in partnership with SVYM's who in turn has enlisted the support KR & combined hospitals of
At Koppal, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement's collaborator, an NGO named Samrakasha runs a 15-bed facility for care and support of people living with HIV/AIDS. The facility has already enrolled nearly 300 HIV/AIDS patients. Some of them are on ART on a self-financing mode. The World Health Organization (WHO)'s protocol is being followed for ART management.
The HIV disease burden in Karnataka is already high. As of 2002, data from antenatal clinic attendees (pregnant women) suggest that the overall prevalence of HIV in the adult population is as high as 1.7 percent in 2002. The prevalence of HIV among those attending STD clinics is approximately 14 percent. This means that at least one in six persons with an STD is perhaps already infected with HIV.
Assuming an adult prevalence of 1.7 percent and an adult population aged 15 to 49 of over 30 million, it is estimated that there are more than 500,000 persons now living with HIV in Karnataka. There is also compelling evidence that the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Karnataka has been growing over the past decade. Over the past 10 years, the HIV seropositivity rate among those tested at voluntary HIV testing centers has risen steadily and substantially from 0.2 percent in 1992 to 14.9 percent in 2002 and is currently 22.3 percent in 2003.
As of December 2002, only 4 percent of the actual number of people living in
"The combination of commitment and expertise in clinical, public health and management skills that are essential for successful HIV treatment programs are brought together by this exciting new partnership," said AHF Global Immunity's Chang. "We, too, look forward to a long, continued -- and successful -- partnership in the fight against AIDS in
Source: AIDS Healthcare Foundation