The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday pledged US$23 million to help Indian health authorities in their efforts to combat HIV. The funds, to be disbursed over the next three years, will be used to “enhance the capacity of the government of India’s HIV prevention response,” Tadataka Yamada of the Foundation’s Global Health Program, said in New Delhi.
The money will be used to train government health workers working in HIV/AIDS prevention programs and to fund groups that work with high risk segments of the population ? such as sex workers and injecting drug users.
India, with 5.7 million infections, has the world’s largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS. But India’s population of more than 1.2 billion means the prevalence rate remains low.
“The funds will be used in capacity-building in public health infrastructure. It will help us to help ourselves,” said Sujatha Rao, director general of the government’s National AIDS Control Organization.
“We welcome this help by Gates Foundation,” said Dr. Anil Singhal.