Tuesday, Aug 05, 2003
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By Our Legal Correspondent
A Bench comprising the Chief Justice of India, V.N. Khare, and Justice S.B. Sinha issued notice on the petition from the Voluntary Health Association of Punjab alleging that as of now a poor HIV positive person requiring hospitalisation and drugs received no treatment in any public hospital and was left to die.The petitioner submitted that there was a shocking state of apathy on behalf of the Centre and the States in providing treatment to AIDS victims.
There were an estimated 5.5 million HIV-positive persons in India at present. In the last few years, with the development of Anti Retro Viral drugs, AIDS had ceased to be a dreadful fatal disease, the petitioner said.However, treatment by these life-saving drugs was not being included by the Indian Government as part of the public health system which catered to the poor. The petitioner said that it had been projected that by 2015 India was likely to have the dubious distinction of being the HIV/AIDS capital of the world with 35 million cases.Therefore, there was a need for all Indians to have access to medicines at fair, reasonable and affordable prices under the public health system. Pointing out that most of the drugs recommended for treatment of AIDS were being produced in India, the petitioner said they could be made available at cheaper rates by the Government.
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