On World AIDS Day, UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador Aishwarya Rai Bachchan visited local hospital facilities in her hometown of Mumbai, India to learn more about the services provided to HIV positive pregnant women.
Mrs Rai Bachchan toured the facilities of the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and General Hospital in Mumbai where she had the opportunity to speak to pregnant women living with HIV benefitting from HIV services. “I am very impressed with what I have been seeing. The women I spoke with will all have healthy babies because they have access to the needed medicines,” said Mrs Rai Bachchan.
Mrs Rai Bachchan emphasised the importance of all pregnant women to go for an HIV test and to know their status. Accessing HIV services on time will contribute to stopping new HIV infections among children and keeping the mothers healthy. “I commit to work towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children not only in India, but globally,” she said.
During the visit to the hospital, Mrs Rai Bachchan also met with Aradhana Johri, Additional Secretary of the National AIDS Control Programme. Ms Johri stressed that the HIV prevalence in the country had declined to 0.27% as of 2011, new HIV infections had been reduced by more than half and HIV related deaths had also come down. "We are proud to be associated with what has been recognised as a global success,” said Ms Johri. “We are balancing a prevention approach with treatment and lastly, we are working to ensure that every person who is infected lives a life of dignity."