However, as a pleasant news the NACO alongwith UNAIDS
and WHO released a report in the month of July'07 that
the previous estimates and projections were wrong due
to improper research that has been carrying on for such
a long time.
The Indian National AIDS Control (NACO) Organization,
with support from national and international experts
including UNAIDS and WHO, have used new and improved
data and enhanced methodology to produce revised AIDS
estimates for India.
The revised estimates show that in 2006, some 2.5
million people were living with the virus and that
HIV prevalence among adults was around 0.36%.
The Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Anbumani
Ramadoss said with the revised figure of 2.5 million,
India now stands at number three in the world for
its HIV/AIDS population. While South Africa reports
the maximum number of people infected with HIV/AIDS
globally, Nigeria comes second.
He said if the methodology used this year is implemented
for the previous years, there is only a marginal
reduction in the prevalence. "Moreover, in terms
of human lives affected, the numbers are still large
and worrying," he added.
He said the estimates this year were based on two
important data's - the sentinel surveillance, which
was expanded to 1,122 sites from last year’s
703 sites, and the National Family Health Survey
-3, a population based survey.
Whatever the truth about the figures, it is clear
that HIV/AIDS will have a devastating effect on India
in the future.
Minister Dr. Ramadoss said, “We have always
been faulted for underestimating the seriousness
of the epidemic. That was a disturbing allegation
as we were, and continue to be, very committed to
containing and reversing the HIV AIDS epidemic.” He,
however, warned that the two sets of figures cannot
be compared to show that there has been a steep decline. “These
figures are not comparable. By using the same methodology
for the past years that we used this year, there
is only a marginal reduction in the prevalence,” he
On the whole this is a welcoming news about the figures
falling down by 50% as the burden is not so much
as it seemed earlier. However, the intensity of
striving for reduction in the number of infected
continue to be the same so that one day India would
become the least infected country in the world.
For further information as to why the estimates were
shown as very high and how India claims the new estimates
are low, please click the following link for the information
released from UNAIDS.