Programme Priorities and Thrust Areas
NACP-III is based on the experiences and lessons drawn from NACP-I and II, and is built upon their strengths. Its priorities and thrust areas are drawn up accordingly and include the following:
- Considering that more than 99 percent of the population in the country is free from infection, NACP-III places the highest priority on preventive efforts while, at the same time, seeks to integrate prevention with care, support and treatment.
- Sub-populations that have the highest risk of exposure to HIV will receive the highest priority in the intervention programmes. These would include sex workers, men-who-have-sex-with-men and injecting drug users. Second high priority in the intervention programmes is accorded to long-distance truckers, prisoners, migrants (including refugees) and street children.
- In the general population those who have the greater need for accessing prevention services, such as treatment of STIs, voluntary counselling and testing and condoms, will be next in the line of priority.
- NACP-III ensures that all persons who need treatment would have access to prophylaxis and management of opportunistic infections. People who need access to ART will also be assured first line ARV drugs.
- Prevention needs of children are addressed through universal provision of PPTCT services. Children who are infected are assured access to paediatric ART.
- NACP-III is committed to address the needs of persons infected and affected by HIV, especially children. This will be done through the sectors and agencies involved in child protection and welfare. In mitigating the impact of HIV, support is also drawn from welfare agencies providing nutritional support, opportunities for income generation and other welfare services.
NACP-III also plans to invest in community care centres to provide psycho-social support, outreach services, referrals and palliative care.
- Socio-economic determinants that make a person vulnerable also increase the risk of exposure to HIV. NACP-III will work with other agencies involved in vulnerability reduction such as women’s groups, youth groups, trade unions etc. to integrate HIV prevention into their activities.
Mainstreaming and partnerships are the key approaches to facilitate multi-sectoral response engaging a wide range of stakeholders. Private sector, civil society organisations, networks of people living with HIV/AIDS and government departments all have a crucial role in prevention, care, support, treatment and service delivery. Technical and financial resources of the development partners are leveraged to achieve the objectives of the programme.