Home > Public Health > India witnesses 56% decline in HIV infections: Azad

India witnesses 56% decline in HIV infections: Azad

August 14, 2012

HIV infections declined by 56 per cent during the last decade from 2.7 lakh in 2000 to 1.2 lakh in 2009 in the country, the union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said at the International HIV Vaccine Symposium here on Monday.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Azad said HIV was detected in India over 25 years ago. “Valuable knowledge and experience has been accumulated as a result of extensive interventions for control of the epidemic and it seems to be stabilizing now. India is among the few countries, which have made significant reductions in HIV infections,” he said.

“The national response to HIV/AIDS in India is implemented through the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) and ‘Prevention and Care’ as well as ‘Support and Treatment’ form the two key pillars of all HIV/AIDS control efforts in India. This strategy has yielded encouraging outcomes over the last decade,” the minister added.

According to the minister, one of the successful interventions of the national AIDS control programme has been the Targeted Interventions (TIs), whose main objective is to improve health seeking behaviour of high risk groups and reducing their vulnerability and risk to acquire Sexually Transmitted and HIV infections. There are 1,821 Targeted Interventions providing prevention services covering 81 per cent female sex workers, 80 per cent injecting drug users, 64 per cent ‘men having sex with men’, 40 per cent migrants and 57 per cent truckers.

Azad said the trend of annual AIDS- related deaths is showing a steady decline since the roll out of free ART (antiretroviral therapy) programme in India in 2004. Besides the domestic programme, India has been providing around 80 per cent of global ARV (antiretroviral) drug demand. Vaccines have been frequently cited as one of the most equitable low-cost, high-impact public health measures.

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Categories: Public Health
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