International Development written question – answered on 16th October 2006.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Conservative, Buckingham

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with the government of India about tackling HIV/AIDS.

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, Party Chair, Co-operative Party

DFID, through its India country office, has regular contact with the Government of India on progress in tackling the AIDS epidemic. DFID actively supports the Indian Government in its efforts to prevent HIV transmission and provide treatment and care for those infected.

India has an estimated 5.2 million people living with HIV, although prevalence is low at 0.91 per cent. The epidemic is concentrated in six high-prevalence states (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland and Tamil Nadu) and is mainly transmitted through unprotected sexual behaviour or injecting drug use.

DFID in India has committed £123 million over seven years (to March 2007) in support of India's National AIDS Control Programme. DFID's support funds prevention activities in the India programme's four focal states of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissaand West Bengal, and in Bihar, Gujarat, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh. These targeted interventions are designed to reach out to the most vulnerable groups among whom the prevalence of disease is highest (sex workers, men having sex with men, injecting drug users), through innovative programmes to contain the spread of the disease. DFID also invests in improving governmental capacity to tackle AIDS, and in mass media campaigns by the BBC World Service Trust.

DFID is currently in discussion with the Government of India on support for the next phase of the National AIDS Control Programme.

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