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HRLN PIL that highlighted the woeful situation of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in Manipur

Date : 16/07/2010

Manipur Network of Positive People vs. Union of India and Ors

Northeast India has one of the largest proliferations of the HIV virus in the country. Despite this, health and prevention measures in the region have flagged behind the progress in the rest of India. For example, the State of Manipur only had 4 CD4 testing machines in the whole state. CD4 testing is crucial for many steps of the treatment/prevention process. Accurate CD4 counts are necessary to determine infection, stages of the illness, eligibility for various drugs and progress of the drugs. Therefore, CD4 testing machines need to be widely available to fight the spread of the virus.

To address this inadequacy, a PIL was filed on behalf of an HIV/AIDS advocacy group in Manipur. The PIL calls for more widespread availability of CD4 testing machines and other necessary equipment and asked that more funds be diverted to provide medical services to poor sufferers of HIV/AIDS. One of the unique aspects of PIL’s is an opportunity to escape the shackles of the usual adversarial legal system and allow for collaborative efforts between civil society and government organizations.

As a result of the issues set forth in the PIL, much progress has been made in Manipur for the benefit of HIV/AIDS sufferers. Funds have been set aside to pay for medical treatment for people who can t afford it. New equipment and machines have been procured and taken to previously underserved areas. Much more work needs to be done, but these are positive steps.

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