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Year 2011

HIV Infections Fell 56% In Last 5 Years

Times of India
22 November 2011
By Kounteya Sinha
New Delhi India

New HIV infections fell by 56% between 2006–2010 in India. The government says it has overshot treatment targets for 2012 — with 4.48 lakh HIV positive patients on the lifesaving antiretroviral therapy against the target of 3.4 lakh.

However, the UNAIDS HIV AIDS report 2011 released on Monday said 20–40% of the eligible HIV population in India was actually receiving ART— one of the lowest in the world. It added that less than 40% of pregnant women had access to ART to prevent new HIV infections among children.

HIV Infections Fell 56% In Last 5 Years

“In India, 40% people don’t even know their HIV status. So how can we put them on treatment? UNAIDS estimates include these 40%. In fact, against a target of putting 3.4 lakh HIV positive people on ART by end of 2012, we expect to cross the 5 lakh mark by that time,”a health ministry official said.

According to new estimates, 47% (6.6 million) of the estimated 14.2 million people eligible for treatment in low– and middle–income countries were accessing lifesaving ART in 2010, up 1.35 million since 2009. 2010 saw 2.7 million new HIV infections and 1.8 million people died of AIDS–related illnesses. Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, said, “We’ve seen a massive scale up in access to HIV treatment which has had a dramatic effect on the lives of people everywhere.”

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