The first case of HIV infection in India was diagnosed
among commercial sex workers in Chennai, Tamil Nadu,
in 1986. Soon after, a number of screening centres were
established throughout the country. Initially the focus
was on screening foreigners, especially foreign students.
Gradually, the focus moved on to screening blood banks.
By early 1987, efforts were made up to set up a national
network of HIV screening centres in major urban areas.
A National AIDS Control Programme was launched in
1987 with the program activities covering surveillance,
screening blood and blood products, and health education.
In 1992 the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO)
was established. NACO carries out India's National
AIDS Programme, which includes the formulation of policy,
prevention and control programmes.
The same year that NACO was established, the Government
launched a Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS prevention under
the National AIDS Control Project. The Project established
the administrative and technical basis for programme
management and also set up State AIDS bodies in 25
states and 7 union territories. The Project was able
to make a number of important improvements in HIV prevention
such as improving blood safety.