HIV prevention prog gives significant results in India: UNAIDS

The AIDS epidemic is for the first time showing a reverse trend which has been attributed to high investment in HIV prevention programmes by India and other most affected countries over a decade.

New Delhi: The AIDS epidemic is for the
first time showing a reverse trend which has been attributed
to high investment in HIV prevention programmes by India and
other most affected countries over a decade.

"Investments in HIV prevention programmes are
producing significant results in many of the highest burden
countries. India is one of them. The incidence rate of new HIV
infection fell by more than 25 per cent between 2001 and 2009
here," Charles Gilks, UNAIDS country coordinator, said
while releasing the 2010 UNAIDS report on the global AIDS
epidemic on Tuesday.

Overall there has been a nearly 20 percent decrease in
new HIV infections over the past decade.
He also said that condom use and availability have
increased significantly. Eleven countries including India
report more than 75 per cent condom use in the higher risk
groups.

1.8 million died from AIDS related illnesses globally
as against 2.1 million in 2004. People with HIV/AIDS are now
living longer due to the greater availability of
anti-retroviral drugs. The total number of people on treatment
has increased by seven and half times over the last five years
with 5.2 million people having access to life saving drugs in
2009 compared to seven lakh in 2004.

In Asia, an estimated three lakh people died from AIDS
related causes in 2009 compared to 2.5 lakh in 2001. AIDS
related deaths among children declined from 18,000 in 2004 to
15,000 in 2009- a decrease of 15 per cent.

"The decline reflects the increased availability of
antiretroviral therapy, as well as care and support,
to people living with HIV, particularly in middle and
low-income countries," Gilks said.

By 2009 end, an estimated 33.3 million were living
with HIV across the world while 2.6 million people became
newly infected, nearly 20 per cent fewer than the 3.1 million.
But the report said there had been rises in infections
in parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

PTI

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