Funding crisis puts India’s AIDS program, and lives, at risk

Volunteers of NSS pose with HIV/AIDS awareness messages on their faces during a face painting competition ahead of the World AIDS Day in ChandigarhBy Aditya Kalra and Zeba Siddiqui NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (Reuters) – India's fight against AIDS is being jeopardized by a cut in social spending by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, with health workers being laid off and programs to prevent the spread of the deadly disease curtailed. With about 2.1 million people infected with HIV in 2013, India has the most cases in the Asia-Pacific, according to the World Health Organization, but new infections have fallen more than 20 percent over the past 14 years. Despite the progress, India accounted for most of the estimated 340,000 new infections in the Asia-Pacific last year and any cut-back to prevention programs risks seeing rates rise, experts say.

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