HIV/AIDS is not a mere health issue: its occurrence is influenced by a number of socio-economic elements. Health interventions alone, therefore, cannot lead to its prevention. Its prevention requires a concerted collaborative effort from all organisations in public life through their work and programmes. This integrated, inclusive and multi-sectoral approach transfers the ownership of HIV/AIDS issues – including its direct and indirect causes, impact and response to various stakeholders, including the government, the corporate sector and civil society organisations. The focus of all organisations in mainstreaming is to adapt their core business to respond to the challenges of HIV/AIDS.
· loss of skilled employees
· large expenditure on healthcare, orphan care and social welfare
· negative impact on programmes relating to education, livelihood, social welfare, women and child health
· reduced revenues and lower returns on social investment.
Similarly, within the work of the corporate and business sector, HIV/AIDS can pose a serious threat to corporate performance through lowered productivity or disruption of operations and increased cost of employee healthcare.
Benefits of Mainstreaming
In order to check the emergence of such a situation, HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment is mainstreamed in all government schemes and activities, corporate sector and civil society. The latter contributes by awareness building on HIV/AIDS issues, especially among the poor and high risk groups.
The collective effort is a vital force in fighting off stigma and discrimination associated with the epidemic. It has been a critical step in facilitating a nationwide sustained HIV/AIDS prevention and control programme, and has led to workplace policies addressing HIV/AIDS. It has proven to be an efficacious cost-effective approach in containing the epidemic in the country.
The programme is fully integrated with National Rural Health Mission, especially with Reproductive and Child Health Programme, training programme, curricula for the Department of School Education and Literacy, the Indian Railways and the Border Security Force, etc. The programme is also integrated with the ongoing activities and outreach work of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, the National Cadet Corps, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
NCA Unites All
Mainstreaming is supported by an institutional mechanism to ensure that national and state objectives related to HIV prevention, care and treatment are met. It draws commitment from the National Council on AIDS, chaired by the Prime Minister, and has on its board 31 ministries and departments. The programme is mainstreamed into the Eleventh Five-Year Plan at the state and national levels.