India has 2.1 million people suffering from HIV, making it
win a dubious distinction of having the world's 3rd largest HIV population.
Surprisingly, only eight lakh people are undergoing
Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) treatment, according to an official data.
The number of HIV patients registered an increase in
states where it was earlier being considered to be non-prevalent, with 10 such
states together accounting for 57 % of new infections in 2012.
National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) and Indian Council
of Medical Research (ICMR) report reveals that, HIV prevalence has reduced at
the national level, but in states where HIV prevalence was considered low have
seen an increase in HIV cases. These states include Odisha, Jharkhand, Punjab,
Assam and Uttarakhand.
Migration to urban areas with high prevalence and higher
prevalence among pregnant women with migrant husbands are identified as most
possible reasons for such trends.
The report Titled 'India HIV Estimates-2012', suggests that
10 low-prevalence states, such as, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh,
West Bengal, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Uttarakhand accounted
for 57% of new infections. On the flip side, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka,
Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland and Tamil Nadu, which are the 6 high prevalence
states, accounted for only 31 % of the 1.16 lakh estimated new infections in
2011 among adults.
The report also calls for customizing its strategies to
efficiently address the emerging vulnerabilities and adapt them to suit the
needs of various geographical areas.
In what can heave as a sigh of relief, these 6 six states have
witnessed a decline in adult HIV prevalence during the period of 2007-2011.
UNAIDS India Country Coordinator Oussama Tawil said "India has done well
overall but if you look state by state, there are varying trends".
He also said "Previously, HIV prevalence in parts of
northern India was thought to be low. One example of this is the state of
Punjab, where the problem is particularly related to injecting of drugs."
"Till the last surveillance round which is till 2011,
there has been either a stabilisation or a drop in the key populations at
national level," said Tawil, while explaining the overall data.
Commemorating the world health day, J P Nadda, the Union
Health Minister, had sought people's participation to meet the dual global
targets of zero new infection and zero deaths from HIV/AIDS. The honourable
minister also claimed that the key to success of the mission would be in
consonance with raising awareness and boosting preventive methods.