India

IINDIA and HIV/AIDS

Friday, February 10, 2006 11:51:34 pmTIMES NEWS NETWORK

PATNA: Bihar has been rudely awakened to a massive AIDS threat.
Recent surveys show that the HIV prevalence rate in Bihar is about five times higher than what was believed to be and eight populous districts in the state are in the grip of what experts are calling an HIV epidemic.

With an estimated 5.7 million people living with HIV/AIDS, India now has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world, according to UNAIDS. Among 15-49 year olds, an estimated 5.7 million are living with the disease, according to India’s National AIDS Control Organization (NACO).

Still, India’s prevalence rate (the percent of the adult population estimated to be infected with HIV) is relatively low. However, India is considered to be a “next wave” country; that is, it stands at a critical point in its epidemic, with HIV poised to expand, but where large-scale prevention and other interventions today could help to contain a more serious epidemic in the future.

As the second most populous nation in the world, even a small increase in India’s HIV/AIDS prevalence rate would represent a significant component of the world’s HIV/AIDS burden.

Background

  • The first case of HIV disease was documented in India in 1986.
  • Later that year, the Government of India (GOI) established a National AIDS Committee under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to formulate a strategy for responding to HIV/AIDS in the country. It launched a National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) in 1987.
  • NACO, established in 1992 by the Ministry with major support from the World Bank, is the implementing entity of the National AIDS Control Programme. Phase I of the Programme started that year; Phase II followed in 1999. Phase III is slated to begin in 2006.
  • NACO has facilitated the development of 38 State AIDS Control Societies (SACS), which operate in all states and Union Territories and in three cities.
  • The GOI’s overall HIV/AIDS budget for NACO in FY 2005-2006 was US $103 million, and is expected to total US $138 million in FY2006-2007.11

INDIA and HIV/AIDS

Globally India is second only to South Africa in terms of the overall number of people living with HIV. USAID (2003) 'HIV/AIDS Country Profile India', March

India has had a sharp increase in the estimated number of HIV infections, from a few thousand in the early 1990s to around 5.1 million children and adults living with HIV/AIDS in 2003.1 With a population of over one billion, the HIV epidemics in India will have a major impact on the overall spread of HIV in Asia and the Pacific and indeed worldwide.

It would be easy to underestimate the challenge of HIV/AIDS in India. India has a large population and population density, low literacy levels and consequently low levels of awareness, and HIV/AIDS is one of the most challenging public health problems ever faced by the country.2

"How do you talk to about HIV/AIDS to someone who does not know the basics about health and hygiene?" - Ratna Gaekwad, an outreach coordinator with the Delhi NGO Prayatna.3

  • UNAIDS 2004 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic
  • UNPAN (2003) National AIDS Prevention and Control Policy (India) www.unpan.org
  • The Lancet (2003) 'Spreading the word about HIV/AIDS in India', Vol.361, May 3
  • Dakar D.N. and Dakar S.N. (2001) 'Combating AIDS in the 21st century Issues and Challenges', Sterling Publishers Private Limited, p.33
  • Bhupesh M. (1992) 'India Disquiet About AIDS Control', the Lancet, Vol240, No.8834/8835

Source: Avert.org

Bihar wakes up to AIDS 'epidemic'
Radhika D Srivastava

Friday, February 10, 2006 11:51:34 pmTIMES NEWS NETWORK

PATNA: Bihar has been rudely awakened to a massive AIDS threat. Recent surveys show that the HIV prevalence rate in Bihar is about five times higher than what was believed to be and eight populous districts in the state are in the grip of what experts are calling an HIV epidemic.

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