States may be subjected to a common issue. However, they may have different ways of dealing with the issue. Most of the issues that affect states relate to their economic and social status. One of the tragedies that have affected the world is the HIV/AIDS pandemic. HIV/AIDS is a social issue. Every region has its unique approach and interventions that it adopts to address the issue. The presence of HIV/AIDS has been an aspect that has witnessed different perceptions. Comparing the number of nations, various demographic and cultural factors make the nation choose appropriate measures. From the approaches of different countries, one can discern the effectiveness of a country in terms of the strategies it has put in place to fight HIV/AIDS. As a result, a social issue is handled and viewed differently based on its extent and the nature of the state. This paper will examine the global issue, advocacy and care giving for people who have been infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in India, and the policy issues that relate to this global issue.
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Background of HIV/AIDS in India
The HIV/AIDS issue in India has had different perspectives. Unlike other nations, India has taken extended measures to curb the incidents of HIV/AIDS. The country has distinctive ways of how the issue has taken its course within the nation. The plague has affected most of India’s sectors. There have been increased cases of individuals who are living with HIV. With the increased India’s population, cases of HIV/AIDS have also been on the rise. HIV/AIDS figures are estimated to increase in the future. Failure of adopting appropriate measures in the past has led to the increased HIV/AIDS cases in India (Balasundaram, Sarkar, Hamide, & Lakshminarayanan, 2014). The same trend may be evident if appropriate policies and interventions are not taken. Over the years, India has taken initiatives to deal with this issue. For instance, it has adopted both local and international initiatives such as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to intervene the issue (The Kaiser Family Foundation, 2013).
India is among the densely occupied nations in the globe with more than 1 billion residents. Out of this number, approximately 2.5 million citizens have been infected with HIV. The traces of HIV emerged in India in the 1980s, although the menace had a limited impact on the country. However, throughout 1990s, individuals who had been infected and affected by HIV had increased. The issue has continued to affect the entire society (McElrath, 2002). Just like many other nations across the globe, the presence of HIV and AIDS has affected the country’s increasing population. Therefore, there has been increased food shortage, deprived physical conditions, and low education levels, which have fuelled the multiplication of HIV among the residents. In addition, most of the population lacks the fundamentals of hygiene and health. Therefore, dealing with the issue calls for an exceptional approach by the Indian authority and other relevant stakeholders. The population’s lack of awareness has been the biggest challenge in dealing with HIV and AIDS (World Bank Institute, 2009).
India has scanty information concerning the extent to which HIV/AIDS has affected its population. It has failed to implement workable ways of coping with HIV/AIDS cases. Unlike other nations, India had not raised any concerns of AIDS when the condition had affected other nations. For instance, during 1986 when cases of AIDS of over 20,000 individual were reported, India did not report any case. The nation speculated that it could deal with HIV/AIDS cases and cope with its challenges. However, as the cases of the disease increased, India had no alternative but to devise techniques to deal with the condition, which had then become a global issue. Additionally, other factors such as culture, poor coordination, and poverty prevented the government from dealing with AIDS, thus making it spread widely.
India’s Measures to Deal with AIDS
As the cases of AIDS became evident in the world few decades ago, India had to come up with a plan to address the issue. Firstly, it had to make it a public issue so that every citizen could be aware of the lethal virus. Such consciousness instilled fear in people to the extent that they reduced their rate of sexual practices. Other adopted safer sex plans. The first cases in India were reported among sex workers in 1986 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Throughout the years, India felt the presence of AIDS and launched the National AIDS Control Program (NACO), which aimed at coordinating national efforts that covered blood screening, health and education, and surveillance. NACO had to oversee the program. Although the country had this program as an intervention, the spread of the disease continued. The HIV/AIDS issue became prominent in the population that had earlier been perceived as less risky. At the time, there emerged community-based organizations that provided affordable services to the affected persons. In addition, through the established programs, the government had observed the need to take care of the infected Indians. It laid down the antiretroviral treatment (ART) plan as an initiative to fight the AIDS battle. An attempt by the government was to provide a haven by providing care, support, and treatment to the infected and affected individuals.
India’s initiatives to deal with HIV/AIDS have an interesting historical development. During 1990s, the government launched a strategic plan where it developed the NACP (National AIDS Control Program) for HIV prevention. The infection of the disease had become a burning issue in India. It was clear that the disease had spread to the entire population. The subsequent stage of the plan, namely NACP II, was effected with an aim of reducing HIV multiplication by encouraging behavior transformation. The phase saw the implementation of another program, namely Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT). Another program that was implemented then was the free antiretroviral treatment. In 2001, the government had identified HIV/AIDS as a serious issue and health challenge that was facing the country. In 2007, a third phase was implemented to reach 80 percent of the high-risk groups with some targeted interventions. During this period, the community organizations and civil society in collaboration with the AIDS Control Societies focused on the appropriate measures of dealing with the issue. Some of the measures that were adopted included the distribution of condoms, outreach programs, advocacy, training of local groups, peer education, linkages to health facilities, and ways of dealing with sexually transmitted diseases.
In India, based on the current health condition, HIV/AIDS prevention and control measures have not been an internal affair only. The Indian government and the private sector have cooperated with international organizations such as the USAID. The collaboration of the USAID and the government has proved a catalyst and a supporter of the government’s vision and policies. The collaboration has provided innovative programs that fund and strengthen NGOs that work directly with NACO alongside other private partnerships. Funding by the international organization has contributed positively towards India’s sustainability efforts. The government is set to develop an internally validated tool that will enable a replicable and quantifiable assessment of the state of development within the country (World Bank Institute, 2009).
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Effects and Issues when Dealing with HIV and AIDS in India
One of the issues that need appraisal upon looking at India’s AIDS historical development is the accessibility of funds by the infected and/or affected individuals. The plan that India has adopted to deal with HIV/AIDS is encouraging, despite the challenges that have been evident in the process. India has witnessed an increased number of inhabitants than most of other nations. Consequently, the country has encountered the most challenging situation relative to any other developing or developed nation. However, it is worth appreciating that most of the programs that it has adopted have been successful in ensuring that it limits the number of affected and/or infected individuals. Besides, it has to guarantee effective operations. The cooperation of the government, local civil societies, and the international community in terms of dealing with HIV/AIDS in the state has been a success.
AIDS is a global issue that requires collaborative actions. India’s private sector has confirmed its responsibility to create sustainable development where the sector has stepped as a major stakeholder. Through CSR, the private sector has made it possible to form an outreach initiative to deal with HIV/AIDS effects in the community. Other nations may have experienced an approach where the private sector has been involved in responding to AIDS. However, India’s private sector has done it exceptionally. The World Bank Institute, Confederation of Indian Industry, and the Indian programs of addressing HIV/AIDS jointly developed the capacity in 2006 to deal with the threatening condition. This partnership has been effective in terms of building a regional initiative and awareness on HIV/AIDS. The IT sector has also not been left since it has created and contributed to resourceful networks of addressing the challenges of HIV/AIDS. As a result, young people are now made aware of the issue at a tender age. Therefore, it suffices to consider the practices effective measures that have led to an affordable life (U.S Agency for International Development, 2012).
The approach that India has adopted, for instance, the use of IT industry to deal with HIV/AIDS, has greatly affected not only the country, but also other nations. The use of IT has helped India to address the challenge of HIV/AIDS. Further, the inclusion of companies in the IT sector has ensured that they (companies) engage directly with their employees, thus making it possible for efficient training and learning activities that benefit both the company and the community. Companies have made it one of their CSR agendas to address HIV/AIDS challenges in the workplace and in the community. There has been an increased funding of HIV/AIDS programs and initiatives to ensure that India can continue with the fight against the deadly virus (World Bank Institute, 2009).
It has also been challenging for India in its attempt to take care and/or support all HIV/AIDS affected and infected individuals. Every nation has had its challenges in dealing with HIV/AIDS. India’s main concern lies in its large population that poses a challenge in terms of welcoming HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns. Another challenge has also been realized in the area of advocacy in families and the capacity of the civil society and NGOs to maintain their input. In addition, barriers have been witnessed in the process of finding appropriate and quality schooling for the orphaned children. According to Zelaya et al. (2012), most of the children have experienced stigmatization where people regard them as unfit in the society. Others view them as a cursed lot. However, there is a need for extended government attention and funding to support all care giving programs for children and families, which have been affected by HIV/AIDS pandemic. Despite these challenges, India has adopted measures to curb the condition by establishing rules that sound a stern warning to any individual who is found neglecting or abusing the affected persons (Van Hollen, 2010). Moreover, the state has taken into account and maintained considerate standards for all HIV/AIDS victims.
It is clear that countries may faced the same global issue but have different interventions of dealing with the same issue. The paper has considered HIV/AIDS a global issue that has affected India. However, the paper has revealed India’s tireless efforts to cope with the issue. Through history, India has had a large proportion of people who have HIV/AIDS. However, the country has adopted exceptional interventions to deal with the issue. For instance, the country has effectively adopted a number of programs and policies that have helped it to cope with HIV/AIDS. The government, non-governmental organizations, and other private organizations have collaborated in ensuring that HIV/AIDS effects are minimized in the state. Despite many challenges, India has achieved success in its attempt to deal with this global issue. The success of some of its policies and plans are factors that other nations can borrow and integrate within their approaches to deal with a similar global issue.
Balasundaram, A., Sarkar, S., Hamide, A., & Lakshminarayanan, S. (2014). Socioepidemiologic Profile and Treatment-seeking Behavior of HIV/AIDS Patients in a Tertiary-care Hospital in South India. Journal of Health, Population & Nutrition, 32(4), 587-594.
McElrath, K. (2002). HIV and AIDS: A Global View. San Francisco, CA: Greenwood Press.
The Kaiser Family Foundation. (2013). Helping People With HIV Navigate the Transition to ACA Coverage: Summary of a Roundtable Discussion. Web.
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