The National Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PPTCT) Programme was launched by Government of India in December 2002 in the country in a phased manner by adopting a multisectoral, decentralized, phased and incremental approach
In the first phase of the programme the medical colleges of the six high prevalence states were covered followed by district hospitals Care in high prevalence of these states and medical colleges of the vulnerable and highly vulnerable states
In the second phase the programme was scaled up to the district hospitals of the low prevalence states and sub district level in high prevalence states.
National Guidelines on PPTCT were formulated in 2001-2002. These guidelines give directions for establishing a PPTCT centre in ante-natal clinics, capacity building of health care providers, implementation of PPTCT package, M&E of the program etc.
National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) had set the target to reduce HIV prevalence among pregnant women age 15-49 yrs to below 3% in the six high prevalence states and below 1% in the other states by 2007) . Government of India has adopted the UNGASS goals for the PPTCT program. i.e. Reduced transmission of Mother To Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV to <20% by 2005 and <10% by 2010
11 ART centres out of above 54 have also been identified under PMTCT programme for providing ART facilities to the beneficiaries referred from PPTCT centres under GFATM Project Round II. 3563 AIDS affected mothers and children are getting ART treatment from these centres till February, 2006.
In addition, ART services are also being provided through 3 NGO partners supported under GFATM Round-II project which are ARCONS, Mumbai; YRG Care, Chennai; and Freedom Foundation, Bangalore.
These NGOs are providing ART to 4095 AIDS affected mother and children through their 4 identified sites.
The National ART scheme plan to scale up free ART services to 100,000 patients by 2007 and 1,80,000 patients till August, 2010.
A total of 85 community care centres are also supported by the programme across the country for providing services to critically ill AIDS patients and for AIDS patients who do not have anyone to look after them in the family.
The beneficiaries also include mother and children. All of these centres are implemented through NGOs.
(c) Targeted Intervention Projects are being implemented for commercial sex workers, street children, injecting drug users, migrant labour population. These project provides services for STI clinic, condom promotion, counselling for behavioural changes through peer education and are operated by NGOs. Currently 1088 TI projects are functioning
d) An intensive awareness campaign was launched on World AIDS Day, 2004 with the theme “Women, Girls & HIV/AIDS”. Subsequently total HIV/AIDS awareness campaign was launched for one month duration during 2005/06which was implemented by 35 States/UTs except Lakshadweep, Meghalaya, Daman & Diu .
HIV/AIDS awareness activities, PPTCT scheme and provision of free ART treatment has been scaled up in India and it has helped in reduction of mother to children transmission of HIV.
There is still further scope for improving the coverage and expansion of the programme at the peripheral level, bringing greater awareness about prevention of HIV and increasing demand for PPTCT services and expansion of free ART scheme
Government of India is totally committed to prevention of HIV infection in children and for care & support of those already infected. NACP-III is being finalized in the current year for implementation in next 5 years. It is planned to increase the coverage under PPTCT scheme in high prevalence and other states. It is also planned to extend free ART facilities to 1,80,000 patients till August, 2010.