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Budget Solace for 2,000 HIV+ve patients in Chandigarh

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Solace for 2,000 HIV+ve patients

Team TOI. Chandigarh: Exemption of excise duty on all anti-Aids drugs announced

in the Union budget shall benefit 2,000 HIV positive people in the city.

According to the State Aids Control director, UT, Vineeta

Gupta, ``These people are on the anti-retroviral treatment (ART),

which is provided free of cost. With this exemption, the second line

drugs shall also be made easily affordable. Recently, the Clinton

foundation had agreed to supply free ART drugs to the children. We

have been getting these ART drugs free from the National Aids Control

Society. The excise exemptions would certainly add to the supply.''

The HIV drugs include a cocktail of ant i b i o t i c s, which

can pre vent skin and other HIV-associated infections. At the moment,

these medicines are not free and cost Rs 600. Pooja Thakur,

associated with the Chandigarh Network of People Living with HIV,

informed, ``One tablet for a week has to be continued for a year. The

total expenditure on this drug alone comes to be Rs 30,000. The

reduction in the prices is beneficial to all HIV positive patients.''

Avinash Jolly, currently working with Haryana State AIDS Control

Society, said, ``I welcome the move and thank the finance minister

for this waiver. Through this move authorities extend care and

support for these people living with HIV.'' He added that at present

there are 2,000-registered AIDS patients.

Gaurav Gaur, Commonwealth Youth Ambassador for People Living on HIV-

AIDS , said, ``It is a good step which would help people to

access the medicines and also drugs would now reach to a vast population.''

PGI seeks Rs 270 crore for next fiscal year

THE PGI has asked for Rs 120 crore as the plan component and Rs 150

crore for the non-plan budget for the next financial year. The funds

would be utilized for the renovation of the old hospital blocks and

for the development of the infrastructure.


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