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India's treatment programme for AIDS is premature

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 09 January 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:70
  1. Sanjay Kumar
  1. New Delhi

    The announcement by India's health minister—on the eve of world AIDS day in December—that from 1 April 2004 the government will provide free antiretroviral drugs to 100 000 HIV positive people in six states with high prevalence of the infection has left the bureaucracy and AIDS experts confused and in a state of shock.

    The poor infrastructure, few facilities, and lack of training have prompted serious apprehension among those working in the field.

    “We have burnt our fingers with tuberculosis, and now we will burn our fingers with HIV,” warned Alaka Deshpande, head of medicine at the JJ Hospital in …

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