UNAIDS Head visits oldest HIV treatment centre in Karnataka
13 October 2009
Concluding his official visit to India yesterday, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé visited the HIV treatment centre at Bowring & Lady Curzon Hospitals in Bangalore. The government run centre is the largest and oldest in Karnataka and has the highest rate of integrated HIV and TB services in India. The treatment centre is also one of the few sites able to both evaluate, with a viral load test, when first line treatment is failing, and provide access and establish people on second line treatment.
Mr Sidibé praised the work of Karnataka in leading the integration of HIV/TB services at the same facility and also for making access to second line treatment available to patients in need.
According to Mr Sidibé, "This clinic is a model, showing that access to 1st and 2nd line ART drugs made in India are being scaled-up for Indians in need of treatment." He said it represented an example of what could be possible in the future for Africa.
The UNAIDS Head had an opportunity to meet with patients and their families who shared personal testimonies of how treatment has given them back their lives and health, even enabling them to return to work. He also met with clinic staff including the counsellors, doctors and nurses as well as the Administration and Dean of the Medical school.
Mr Sidibé’s visit to Bangalore also included his participation in a civil society event in Bangalore, where he met with representatives of civil society and spoke with women living openly with HIV.
UNAIDS Executive Director first official visit to India also included events and meetings in New Delhi and Mumbai.