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Incidences of HIV and AIDS in India

HIV Incidence

Analysis of epidemic projections revealed that the number of new annual HIV infections has declined by more than 50% during the last decade. This is one of the most important evidence on the impact of the various interventions under National AIDS Control Programme and the scaled-up prevention strategies. It is estimated that India had approximately 1.2 lakh new HIV infections in 2009, as against 2.7 lakh in 2000.

While this trend is evident in most states, some low prevalence states have shown a slight increase in the number of new infections over the past two years, that underscores the need for the programme to focus more on these states.

Of the 1.2 lakh estimated new infections in 2009, the six high prevalence states account for only 39% of the cases, while the states of Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat account for 41% of new infections.

Adult HIV prevalence

  • The estimated adult HIV prevalence in India was 0.32% (0.26% – 0.41%) in 2008 and 0.31% (0.25% – 0.39%) in 2009.
  • The adult prevalence is 0.26% among women and 0.38% among men in 2008 and 0.25% among women and 0.36% among men in 2009.
  • Among the states, Manipur has shown the highest estimated adult HIV prevalence of 1.40% followed by Andhra Pradesh (0.90%), Mizoram (0.81%), Nagaland (0.78%), Karnataka (0.63%) and Maharashtra (0.55%).
  • Besides these states, Goa, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Punjab and Tamil Nadu have shown estimated adult HIV prevalence greater than national prevalence (0.31%), while Delhi, Orissa, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh & Puducherry have shown estimated adult HIV prevalence of 0.28- 0.30%. All other states/UTs have lower levels of HIV.

Declining Trends of Adult HIV Prevalence

The adult HIV prevalence at national level has continued its steady decline from estimated level of 0.41% in 2000 through 0.36% in 2006 to 0.31% in 2009. All the high prevalence states show a clear declining trend in adult HIV prevalence. HIV has declined notably in Tamil Nadu to reach 0.33% in 2009. However, the low prevalence states of Chandigarh, Orissa, Kerala, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya show rising trends in adult HIV prevalence in the last four years.

A clear decline is also evident in HIV prevalence among the young population (15-24 yrs) at national level, both among men and women. However, rising trends are noted in some states including Orissa, Assam, Chandigarh, Kerala, Jharkhand and Meghalaya.

People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA)

The total number of people
living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) in India
Estimated at 24 lakh (19.3 – 30.4) in 2009
Children (<15 yrs) 3.5% of all infections
Age group 15-49 years 83% of all infections
Of all HIV infections population of women 39% (9.3 lakh)
South India (Andhra Pradesh – 5 lakh, Maharashtra – 4.2 lakh, Karnataka – 2.5 lakh, Tamil Nadu – 1.5 lakh) 55% of all HIV infections in the country.
West Bengal,Gujarat, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are estimated to have more than 1 lakh PLHA each 22% of HIV infections in India.
Punjab, Orissa, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh have 50,000 – 1 lakh HIV infections each 12% of HIV infections in India.

This round of estimates has confirmed the clear decline of HIV prevalence among female sex workers in most states. However, the evidence shows that people using injectable drugs and homosexuals are more vulnerable to HIV with increasing trends in many states.

AIDS deaths

Using globally accepted methodologies and updated evidence on survival to HIV with and without treatment, it is estimated that about 1.72 lakh people died of AIDS related causes in 2009 in India. Wider access to ART has resulted in a decline of the number of people dying due to AIDS related causes. The trend of annual AIDS deaths is showing a steady decline since the roll out of free ART programme in India in 2004.

Sustained action for advancement towards Universal Access India’s response to the HIV epidemic and the broad social mobilisation of stakeholders has achieved significant results in controlling the HIV epidemic. The achievements warrant the need for further commitment and coordinated joint action that is guided by the best available scientific evidence and technical knowledge.

Evident from the 2008-2009 HIV estimates, NACP- III has yielded significant results in addressing previously existing gaps in the AIDS response, as well as the social and structural constraints. Spread of HIV in the low prevalence and vulnerable states must be thwarted through sustainable effort and investment on prevention, coupled with innovative strategies.

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