Republic of Korea leaders visit India to learn about the HIV epidemic and response
A high-level delegation of parliamentary and private sector leaders from the Republic of Korea visited India from 10 to 15 September to learn about the impact that HIV has on communities and how the country is responding to the AIDS epidemic.
The delegation was led by the recently formed Korean Women against AIDS (KOWA) organization, which works through women parliamentarians and senior business leaders to advocate for greater engagement in the Republic of Korea for ending the AIDS epidemic in Asia, Africa and across the globe. While in New Delhi, the group met with Indian parliamentarians and visited the HIV Vaccine Translational Research Laboratory. As part of the fact-finding mission, the group also visited nongovernmental organizations providing counselling, care and support services to women and children living with HIV, as well as the K. B. Bhabha Hospital in Mumbai, which has a prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission centre.The leaders spoke with women living with HIV, learning how antiretroviral treatment can prevent babies from being born with HIV and keep their mothers alive.
While India has the largest HIV epidemic in Asia, with an estimated 2.1 million people living with HIV in 2013, the country has made significant progress. New HIV infections have dropped by 19% since 2005, about a third (36%) of people living with HIV are receiving life-saving treatment and AIDS-related deaths have dropped by 38% since 2005. The mission came to India at the suggestion of UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, who, during a recent visit to the Republic of Korea, encouraged KOWA members to experience the AIDS response first-hand.
“This was an extremely moving fact-finding mission. All Korean Women against AIDS members came away with a strong commitment to support the AIDS response, especially preventing HIV transmission from mother to child.”
You Jee-Young, Member of Parliament, Republic of Korea
“I congratulate Korean Women against AIDS for turning words into action and coming to India to learn about the HIV epidemic. I am sure this trip will enable Korean Women against AIDS to broaden support in the Republic of Korea for further engagement in the AIDS response.”
Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director