The incidence of HIV/AIDS is declining in the western Indian state of Maharashtra ans southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu , Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh because of the proactive measures taken for several years by the state governments but elsewhere in the country, especially in the north, it is rising, a new United Nations report has said.
The report, released Tuesday, said that overall two-thirds of the people living with HIV in Asia are in India and with 5.7 million estimated to have been infected by the end of last year, India had overtaken South Africa which now has some 5.5 million people living with HIV.
But India was much better off as a lower proportion of its population being infected. Only 0.9 per cent of the population was infected against South Africa's 18.8 per cent.
UNAIDS Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot who released the report, rejected the suggestion that India was under reporting cases but stressed it needed to do much more to contain the deadly disease.
The report found that most infections in India were caused by 'unprotected heterosexual intercourse' and stressed the need to empower women, not only in India but across world, so that they can say 'no' to unprotected sex and develop the capacity to protect themselves.
The reports estimated that total deaths in India since AIDS was first identified 25 years ago could range between 270,000 and 680,000.
The report noted that southern States have traditionally been hardest hit by the disease but they have also made more progress in containing it compared to the northern states.