Delhi doubles financial assistance to HIV/AIDS patients

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New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) In a move to improve the living standards of people suffering from HIV/AIDS, the Delhi Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to double the financial assistance to them.

People living with HIV/AIDS (PLHAs) require lifelong Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) due to their compromised immune system and also require extra nutrition, in addition to a balanced diet, to cope with their special needs, reads a statement from the government.

The financial assistance provided to such patients has been increased to Rs 2,000 per month from the current Rs 1,000 per month.

According to the government data, till March, 27, 250 PLHIV are on ART in Delhi at 11 centres located in the major government hospitals in Delhi, run under the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP).

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The Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, also removed the age restriction on financial assistance to individuals with special needs.

Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said: “When a person with special needs used to reach 60 years of age, his pension was converted into old age pension.

“Now, there will be no age restriction for financial assistance to persons with special needs. The pension will continue lifelong or until the conditions under which the assistance is granted no longer exist.”

However, as a matter of clarity, he added, the beneficiary will not be eligible for pension under more than one scheme among the three schemes for old age, persons with disability and pension to women in distress.

Till now, pension for disability was given to persons from birth to 60 years and having annual family income not more than Rs 1,00,000 per annum.

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–IANS

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