Protests over shortage of life-saving HIV Drugs at the Delhi office of India’s National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO). Photo: video screengrab / Uzair Usmani.
Protests over shortage of life-saving HIV Drugs at the Delhi office of India’s National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO). Photo: video screengrab / Uzair Usmani.

Fighting for their lives

The story of India's HIV patients and the antiretroviral drug supply crisis.

Naila Khan is an independent journalist based in New Delhi, India. She covers stories on human rights, refugee rights, gender justice and communalism in India. Uzair Usmani is a journalist and filmmaker based in New Delhi. He has reported for organisations like The Diplomat, The Citizen, Religion Unplugged among others.

India has been facing a shortage of life-saving drugs required for HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus treatment. For over a month, HIV patients have been protesting outside the Delhi office of India's National AIDS Control Organisation, or NACO, to demand that medicines be made available and sufficient stocks be maintained so that patients can take their medicine in one go.

There are almost 2.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS in India as of 2021. Although India is seeing a decline in its overall HIV prevalence rate, India has the world's third-largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS, in terms of absolute numbers. In this video, we speak to HIV patients and experts to understand why the shortage of life-saving drugs has been recurring in the country, and how far India is from its target of becoming an AIDS-free nation.

Reporter: Naila Khan

Camera: Uzair Usmani

Edit: Naila Khan and Uzair Usmani

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