4,453 HIV patients in Himachal given free ART medicines: health director

Shimla, Dec 3 (PTI) As many as 4,453 people have been affected by HIV/AIDS in Himachal Pradesh and they have been provided free ART medicines, a state health official said.

The number of patients is till September this year, Director of Health Services Dr Ajay Kumar Gupta said.

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs treat HIV/AIDS patients with more than two dozen medicines that come under six main types. Each drug fights the virus in one's body in slightly different ways.

In a statement issued here on Tuesday, Dr Gupta said, “ART medicines are provided free of cost to HIV patients through three ART centres and five link ART centres.” The affected patients along with one attendant are provided free bus passes to ensure they get their ART medicines from the designated centres, the health director stated.

The senior official said a month-long awareness campaign against AIDS had been launched by state Health Minister Vipin Singh Parmar from Shimla on World AIDS Day on December 1. PTI DJI HDA hda