HIV and AIDS Current Affairs - 2020

Anti-HIV drugs used against COVID-19 for the first time in India

India for the first time used Lopinavir and Ritonavir combination to treat Italian patients in India infected with COVID-19. The couple were on a tour to India and are currently being treated in Jaipur


The Indian Council of Medical Research has been authorized to research on COVID-19 drugs. Also, the council has been approved to use the above HIV drug combination during public health emergencies.

Currently, 70% of HIV positive patients in India are on first line drugs. These medicines are manufactured in India mainly for export purposes. They are exported to African countries predominantly. The combination of Lopinavir and Ritonavir drugs is a second line drug.

What are First-line and Second-Line Drugs?

The First-line drugs are of minimum dosages and are given to patient during the initial stages of a treatment. The second line drugs are prescribed when the first line drugs are not responding. The second line drugs have higher side effects than first-line drugs.

India participates at United Nations AIDS Programme at World Economic Forum

On January 21, 2020, India participated at the United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS) programme at the World Economic Forum (WEF). The theme of the programme was

Theme: Access for all: Leveraging Innovations, Investments and Partnerships for Health


The health needs, technologies and solutions to bridge economic inequalities in the health sector were discussed. India was represented by Union Minister of state for Shipping and Chemical and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya.

UNAIDS Programme

The main objective of the programme is to coordinate global action on the AIDS disease and alleviate its impact. It was established in 1994.

AIDS in India

The AIDS programme in India is implemented by NACO (National AIDS Control Organization). It formulates policy and implements prevention and control programmes of AIDS in the country.

According to UNAIDS data, 2018, around 2.1 million people are living with AIDS in the country. In 2018, 69,000 AIDS related deaths occurred and 88,0000 new HIV infections were recorded. However, compared to its neighbouring countries India has made good progress to bring the disease under control.

UNAIDS also says that India is the third largest country with HIV epidemic in the world.


NACO is the nodal organization to implement AIDS programmes of Indian Government. Apart from this, it also conducts HIV estimation biennially along with ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research). The first round of such estimation was conducted in 1998 and the last was done in 2017.