Since its inception in 1992, the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) has been a crucial initiative in India’s fight against HIV/AIDS. Originally focused on raising awareness, it has evolved over the years to emphasize behavioral change and decentralization, with increased involvement from NGOs and networks of People Living with HIV (PLHIV). NACP I, launched with the goal of slowing HIV spread to reduce its impact, paved the way for subsequent projects.
NACP II, initiated in 1999, aimed to curb HIV transmission and enhance India’s long-term response capabilities. With NACP III in 2007, the focus shifted to halting and reversing the epidemic over five years. NACP IV, launched in 2012, aimed to expedite this reversal process and fortify the country’s response to the epidemic through a carefully planned integration strategy over the next five years.
NACP IV – Objectives
- Reduce new infections by 50% (2007 Baseline of NACP III).
- Provide comprehensive care and support to all persons living with HIV/AIDS and
- Treatment services for all those who require it.
- Strengthening our efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS, especially among high-risk groups and vulnerable communities, by providing more targeted and robust prevention services.
- Making sure that everyone can easily access and receive comprehensive care, support, and treatment for HIV/AIDS, while also encouraging a holistic approach to healthcare.
- Broadening our Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) services to reach both the general population and high-risk groups, focusing on changing behaviors and creating awareness to encourage people to seek HIV/AIDS services.
- Empowering individuals and organizations at the national, state, district, and facility levels by enhancing their skills and knowledge to effectively address HIV/AIDS.
- Improving the management of strategic information related to HIV/AIDS by strengthening our information systems and ensuring data accuracy and reliability.
Key Priorities under NACP IV
- Preventing new infections by sustaining the reach of current interventions and effectively addressing emerging epidemics.
- Prevention of Parent to Child transmission.
- Focusing on IEC strategies for behaviour change in HRG, awareness among general population and demand generation for HIV services.
- Providing comprehensive care, support and treatment to eligible PLHIV.
- Reducing stigma and discrimination through Greater involvement of PLHA (GIPA).
- De-centralizing rollout of services including technical support.
- Ensuring effective use of strategic information at all levels of programme.
- Building capacities of NGO and civil society partners especially in states with emerging epidemics.
- Integrating HIV services with health systems in a phased manner.
- Mainstreaming of HIV/ AIDS activities with all key central/state level Ministries/ departments will be given a high priority and resources of the respective departments will be leveraged.
- Social protection and insurance mechanisms for PLHIV will be strengthened.
Package of Services provided under NACP IV
- Providing support tailored to specific groups like female sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender individuals, injecting drug users, truckers, and migrants to address their unique needs and risks.
- Offering needle and syringe exchange programs along with opioid substitution therapy to help injecting drug users manage their addiction safely.
- Implementing preventive measures for migrants at all stages of their journey – origin, transit, and destination – to reduce their vulnerability to health risks.
- Establishing a Link Worker Scheme in rural areas to connect with and assist high-risk groups and vulnerable individuals effectively.
- Developing strategies to prevent and manage sexually transmitted infections and reproductive tract infections, ensuring access to necessary care and support.
- Information, Education & Communication (IEC) & Behaviour Change Communication (BCC).
- Social Mobilization, Youth Interventions, and Adolescent Education Programme.
- Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS response.
- Condom promotion.
- Workplace Interventions.
Care, Support & Treatment Services
- Laboratory services for CD4 Testing and other investigations.
- Free First line & second line Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) through ART centres and Link ART Centres (LACs), Centres of Excellence (COE) & ART plus Centres.
- Pediatric ART for children Early Infant Diagnosis for HIV exposed infants and children below 18 months.
- HIV-TB Coordination (Cross- referral, detection and treatment of co-infections).
- Treatment of Opportunistic Infections Drop-in Centres for PLHIV networks.
New Initiatives under NACP IV
- Tailored approaches for districts, carefully analyzing data from various sources while giving significant attention to areas of vulnerability.
- Expanding initiatives to target specific vulnerabilities, ensuring that programs reach those most in need.
- Increasing access to Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST) for individuals with substance use disorders.
- Strengthening interventions for migrants at their place of origin, during transit, and at their destinations, including the implementation of a tracking system to better reach them.
- Enhancing support and services for transgender individuals through community involvement and targeted strategies addressing their unique challenges.
- Implementing an employer-led model to address vulnerabilities among female migrant workers, including initiatives such as the Female Condom Programme.
- Scaling up Multi-Drug Regimen for the Prevention of Parent-to-Child Transmission (PPTCT) in line with international standards.
- Ensuring social protection for marginalized groups by integrating HIV-related budgets into relevant government departments.
- Establishing Metro Blood Banks and Plasma Fractionation Centers to improve access to safe blood products.
- Introducing Third Line Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) and expanding access to first and second-line treatments.
- Utilizing diverse media channels, including national folk media campaigns and the Red Ribbon Express buses, to promote awareness and demand for HIV-related services, in collaboration with the National Health Mission.
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