Ahmedabad: Cases of HIV infection have been rising over the past two years in Gujarat, which is considered to be a low prevalence state, according to the National AIDS Control Organisation.
"Some low prevalence states (which include Gujarat) have shown a slight increase in the number of new infections over the past two years," NACO estimates said.
The HIV estimates by NACO said, "Of the 1.2 lakh estimated new infections in 2009, the six high prevalence states account for only 39 percent of the cases, while Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat account for 41 percent of new infections."
A top official of state government`s health department attributed it to the migrant population that has been coming to Gujarat in search of work.
"We have come to know about the NACO data that said there was increase in HIV incidence in Gujarat and some other low prevalence states. This is bane of urbanisation where there is a huge migrant population," the official said on condition of anonymity.
The official said that his reference was to diamond industry and other industries in the state which employ migrant labourers.
"We need to study the figures released by NACO in detail in order to ascertain the exact reason behind the slight increase," he added.
However, Gujarat Health Minister Jaynarayan Vyas said that the implementation of the HIV/AIDS prevention programme has been paying good results.
"So far the situation is under control as the government is engaged in conducting large-scale awareness programmes among various high risk groups," Vyas said.
The estimates by NACO also said that number of people with HIV infection in Gujarat would be above 1.36 lakh.
The analysis of data projections by NACO further revealed that the number of new annual HIV infections has declined in India by more than 50 percent during last decade.
According to latest NACO estimates, Gujarat is also among the five states having adult HIV prevalence more than the national average of 0.31 percent.
Manipur has shown highest estimated adult HIV prevalence of 1.40 percent, followed by Andhra Pradesh (0.90 percent), Mizoram (0.81 per cent), Nagaland (0.78 percent), Karnataka (0.63 percent) and Maharashtra (0.55 percent).
While Gujarat (0.37 percent), Goa (0.49 percent), Chandigarh (0.39 percent), Punjab (0.32 percent) and Tamil Nadu (0.33 percent) have shown estimated adult HIV prevalence greater than national average.