India seeks outside evaluation of its AIDS program
India is taking bids for an independent evaluation of the country's National AIDS Control Organization to identify ways to improve HIV prevention and treatment in the country, Indian health minister Anbumani Ramadoss announced Thursday. "We are going in for a reassessment of HIV in our country," Ramadoss said at a conference, reports the Xinhuanet news service. "We expect the report by mid-next year. It would help us to restrategize our program." Current estimates suggest there are more than 5 million HIV-positive people in India, making it home to the world's highest number of HIV cases. The nation's health ministry plans to provide anti-HIV medications to 100,000 HIV-positive people in six states with high HIV incidence. Eight hospitals in the country currently offer antiretroviral drugs, but the health ministry hopes to increase that number to 25 by the end of the year and to as many as 100 by the end of 2005.