India ranks second only to South Africa with respect to the number of AIDS/HIV victims. A recent survey conducted on the prevalence of AIDS in India has revealed that the figures could be far more than what has been projected officially. There have been numerous repots claiming a dramatic decline in the number of new infections. The above has been brought to spotlight following the release of the U.N. annual global report on AIDS in New Delhi on Monday.
Health officials from UNAIDS have expressed disbelief in the fact that India has only 28,000 reported infections and have said that this is something impossible. Various districts across the country had about 4 % of the population infected with the deadly virus.
Several factors such as underreporting of the cases could account for the underestimation. In addition, new infections falling in some areas and rising in others also poses serious difficulties with respect to documentation. For example, new infections were falling in urban areas but rising in rural areas in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Two sates, particularly Uttar Pradesh and Bihar with a combined population of more than 250 million had poor surveillance.
According to India's state-run National AIDS Control Organization, more than 0.92 percent of the country's adult population is living with HIV. More than six states have an infection rate of more than one percent.
Large-scale movement of people from the rural to the urban areas seeking employment has been in a way responsible for the spread of the deadly killer virus. Prostitution is also to be blamed to a certain degree. A few of them who visit the prostitutes even pass it on their wives in rural areas.
Expansion of the currently existing anti-AIDS projects for control of AIDS seems a sensible task that can be materialized by The Indian government and voluntary groups. It is also equally important to ensure that those accounted for are given anti-retroviral treatment.