Modi Govt slashes HIV/AIDS spending by 30%

AIDS Infection

Even as the Rajya Sabha remained dysfunctional due to the religious conversion row, Modi Govt has decided to slash the spending on HIV/AIDS related programmes by 30%, which comes to a cut of whopping 13 billion rupees ($205.4 million). Reuters reported that this cut in HIV/AIDS spending is in addition to a 20% cut in the health budget for fiscal year 2014-15, with the cuts being attributed to containing the fiscal deficit.

This budget cut will leave many critical healthcare services in limbo. India spends only about 1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on public health, much less when compare to 8.3% in the United States, or 3% in China. Health officials too expressed disappointment and shock at the cut.

According to the UN AIDS programme, India had the third-largest number of people living with HIV in the world at the end of 2013, and it accounts for more than half of all AIDS-related deaths in the Asia-Pacific.

Sukhdeep Singh