From: manoj pardesi <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 7:24 AM
Subject: ITPC Big achivements in 2nd line advocacy [1 Attachment]
Judges tells government to give 2nd line to those who need it
In memory of the six who died.
In a judgment of huge significance to the HIV community in Maharashtra and elsewhere, a judge at the Bombay High Court has instructed NACO, the National AIDS Control Organisation, to provide free treatment to all people in Maharashtra who need 2nd line drugs. The treatment will be provided through the State AIDS Control Society, MSACS.
In response to public interest litigation submitted by the Network of Maharashtra People with HIV (NMP+), Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar noted that 'the competent Authority has taken a decision to provide free of cost appropriate treatment to the Petitioners, who are allegedly suffering from HIV Positive
and in addition to them if any other patient comes they will also be
examined and if found suffering from HIV positive, a similar treatment will
be provided to them. Statement accepted. In view of this the petition is
This confirms that the judges disposed of NMP+'s litigation in view of the promise by NACO ('the competent Authority') to provide 'free of cost', 'appropriate treatment', i.e. 2nd line or alternate 1st line wherever appropriate.
At an earlier hearing, when NACO pleaded that they could not afford it, the judge insisted that they provide treatment, saying he would order the state government to give them adequate funds to cover it.
Second Line drugs are essential to the life chances of many people with HIV. These are people for whom the normally available treatment for HIV, 1st line drugs, have failed, cause too many side effects, or are no longer effective. These people need an alternative (that is, 2nd line or Alternate 1st line) treatment or they will die.
The Government criteria by which people can access 2nd line have been too prescriptive. Patients have been assessed not on clinical need but on such factors as whether they had previously received paid-for treatment, or the number of years they have been on 1st line. Many poor people who do not fall into the Below Poverty Line category have had to devastate their finances to buy the drugs or go without and face the risk of death. 2nd line drugs cost in the region of 6,000 rupees a month.
A small number of people have been receiving free treatment at JJ Hospital in Mumbai, but these are only a small proportion of those who need it.
The Network of Maharashtra People with HIV has been conducting an advocacy campaign on this issue for many months. They were fortunate to get the help of the Human Rights Law Network, who have been helping with the case in court.
NMP+ believes there are over 200 people who need 2nd line in Maharashtra. Of the 30 named in the original court litigation back in March, at least six have died.
The advocacy campaign has been conducted on a number of levels. These include informing the media of some of the human interest stories of those waiting for 2nd line, such as the broken marriages, the loss of little businesses from ill-health and the punitive cost of the drugs, and the heroic patience of many of those waiting the life-saving drugs. The Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) helped with this work. There was also a State Public Hearing called by NMP+ in association with the Indian Network for People living with HIV (INP+), with funding from Family Health International (FHI/USAID). It was attended by representatives from MSACS, MDACS and NACO, as well as over 100 positive people. NMP+ also used the Right to Information legislation to extract information from JJ Hospital and elsewhere.
The courts are helping to bring more fairness and justice to society.
The court statement confirming NACO's agreement to provide free 2nd and alternate 1st line treatment to whoever needs it.
Please contact the Network of Maharashtra People with HIV.
General Secretary NMP+
INP+ : An ISO 9001:2000 Certified CBO
401 Ganga Prestige Arcade, Laxmi Road, 612 - A, Nana Peth, Opp Ghode Peer.
Pune, Maharashtra , India
Pin 411 002
Phone - +91 20 2633 6083 or 84 or 87
Cell - + 91 9923 797 326
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