HIV Fears Rise Over Condom Shortage in States

Friday, January 30, 2015

At least six states are facing a severe shortage of condoms distributed under the government’s AIDS control programme, giving rise to a public health concern over the risk of HIV infections spreading.

These shortages have been continuing for around eight months in states such as Haryana, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh, which have relatively high HIV prevalence. Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan also face a supply crisis, which, sources said, stemmed from bureaucratic delays in procurement.

Target intervention groups, which distribute condoms as part of public health programmes, have written to the State AIDS Prevention and Control Society (SACS) and other bodies, urgently seeking supplies, sources said.

The matter was recently raised with the Union health ministry, following which the health secretary met senior officials from the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) on Thursday.

“The issue has been brought to my notice. We have a meeting again tomorrow where we will analyse the situation and take measures to address the problem,” health secretary Lov Verma told TOI.

Sources said the shortage is primarily caused by bureaucratic delays. “While HLL Lifecare is unable to keep up with the demand, negotiations with private players is a long drawn process,” a source said.

Source: The Times of India (link opens in a new window)

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