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Tackling HIV

India has brought down HIV incidence, but it must do more in removing social stigma
A new report from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) bears good news for the global war against the syndrome(रोग में अनेक लक्षणों का समावेश). Between 2010 and 2017, several(कई) countries made rapid(तीव्र/शीघ्र) progress in reducing(कमी/छूट) HIV incidence(घटना/विस्तार) and getting antiretroviral therapy to patients. Today, three out of four people with HIV know their status, and 21.7 million get treatment(उपचार/व्यवहार). While the largest reduction in incidence came from eastern and southern Africa, Asia also made gains. India, in particular, brought down the number of new cases and deaths by 27% and 56%, respectively(क्रमश/संदभ से), between 2010 and 2017. As the UNAIDS report says, some satisfaction(संतुष्टि/समाधान) is warranted(जरूरी है/ज़मानत देना). This applies(लागू करना/लगाना) also to India, which has done a few things right. For example, tuberculosis(क्षय/तपेदिक) is the biggest killer of HIV patients across(सभी जगह/आगे को) the world. India is now able to treat over 90% of notified TB patients for HIV. Social stigma(कलंक/धब्बा) surrounding(आसपास) AIDS-infected(संक्रमित) people in India, while high, is declining(अस्वीकृत करना) slowly too. Survey data show that in the last decade(दशाब्दी), the number of people unwilling(अनिच्छुक/तैयार नहीं) to buy vegetables from a person with HIV came down from over 30% to 27.6%. But even as India celebrates such progress, it is important to be mindful(सावधान/होशियार) of the scale(स्तर/पैमाना) of the challenge. With 2.1 million cases, India is among the largest burden(बोझ/भार) countries in the world. And there are critical(महत्वपूर्ण/नाजुक)gaps in its strategy(कार्यनीति/रणनीति).

The UNAIDS report points out that a country’s laws can legitimise(न्याय्य करना/वैध करना)stigma and give licence to the harassment (उत्पीड़न/परेशानी)of groups at the highest risk of HIV. These include(शामिल करना/जोड़ना) men who have sex with other men, people who inject drugs, and sex workers. Indian laws don’t do well on thisc count गणना/(गिनती). The Immoral(अनैतिक/चरित्रहीन) Traffic (Prevention) Act criminalises(अपराध) several aspects(पहलुओं/रूप) of sex work, while Section 377 of the IPC criminalises gay sex. Studies show that fear(डर/आशंका) of prosecution under such laws prevents(प्रतिबंध करना/बाधा डालना) homosexual men, drug-users and sex workers from seeking HIV screening(जाँच/पनाह) and treatment. As a result(नतीजा/प्रभाव), these groups lag behind average treatment rates, although(हालांकि) their requirements(आवश्यकताओं) are higher. According to a 2017 UNAIDS report, for example, awareness(जागरूकता) of their HIV status among men who have sex with other men was 41% in India; 52% of those who knew their status were receiving treatment, and of these, 83% had suppressed(दबा दिया/रोकना) viral levels. These are troubling(परेशान /चिंतित करना) patterns(नमूना/मिसाल). If India is serious about tackling HIV, it must find ways to reach such groups. Short of changing the law, the Centre can consider targeted(लक्षित)interventions(हस्तक्षेप/व्यवधान). An experiment in Karnataka, between 2004 and 2011, finds favourable(अनुकूल /लाभदायक) mention(उल्लेख) in the report. It shows that sensitising(संवेदनशील बनाना) police personnel and educating female sex workers can greatly reduce arbitrary(मनमाने ढंग ) police raids(छापे/धावा) and arrests. As the UNAIDS report emphasises(पर जोर देती है,/बल देना), the right to health is universal. India must take note of this to ensure(सुनिश्चित करना) that no one is left behind in the fight against HIV.

 

 

Important Vocabulary

1.Rapid(तीव्र/शीघ्र)
Synonyms: accelerated, breakneck, brisk, expeditious, fast
Antonyms: delayed, slow, sluggish, tardy, languishing

2.Stigma(कलंक/धब्बा)
Synonyms: scar, stain, blame, blemish, blot
Antonyms: approval, benefit, esteem, exaltation, honor

3.Several(कई)
Synonyms: a few, a lot, any, certain, considerable
Antonyms: none, one

4.Critical(महत्वपूर्ण/नाजुक)
Synonyms: demanding, analytical, belittling, biting, calumniatory
Antonyms: complimentary, laudatory, praising, trivial, uncritical

5.Mindful(सावधान/होशियार)
Synonyms:  apprehensive, careful, cautious, cognizant, conscious
Antonyms: careless, heedless, ignorant, inattentive, incautious

6.Aspects(पहलुओं/रूप)
Synonyms: attitude, condition, facet, form, air
Antonyms: whole

7.Screening(जाँच/पनाह)
Synonyms: shield, adumbrate, blind, bulwark, bury
Antonyms: disregard, endanger, expose, forget, harm

8.Immoral(अनैतिक/चरित्रहीन)
Synonyms: corrupt, depraved, dishonest, indecent, nefarious,
Antonyms: clean, decent, ethical, good, honest

 

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