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[afro-nets] India sees 50% decline in new HIV infections: UN report

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times

New Delhi, April 02, 2011

According to the United Nations 2011 Aids report, there has been a 50% decline 
in the number of new HIV infections in the last 10 years in India. Close to 1.2 
million people were newly infected with HIV in 2009, out of an estimated 2.3 
million people living with the virus in the country. More than 0.4 million HIV 
people are on anti-retroviral therapy. The report also reported a 25% drop in 
the number of new HIV infections globally. 

Mother-to-child transmission is still the problem area, with maximum cases 
being reported from the south and the north-eastern part of the country. 

"We are coordinating with the state and Central governments to reach out to 
pregnant women in these areas under their National Rural Health Mission. 
Institutional deliveries need to be encouraged so that pregnant women are 
tested for the disease as a preventive measure," said Charles Gilks, UNAIDS 
country coordinator. 

"Decriminalisation of homosexuality by the court is a positive step and will 
help in fighting the disease," said Heidi Larson, senior lecturer, London 
School of Tropical Medicine. 

To combat the spread of the infection, the UN Secretary General in the report 
has recommended measures like involving youth, making treatment more 
cost-effective and focusing on women and girls. 

"We intend to make full use of the Internet to spread awareness about the 
disease," said JVR Prasada Rao, special advisor to the executive director, 

The report was launched by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in Nairobi on 
Thursday. It was released in India on Friday.

Thank you very much.
With warm personal regards,

Dr. Surender N. Gupta, 
FIMS;MAE (Epidemiology); OCCRTI
Faculty, Regional Health and Family Welfare Training Centre, 
CHHEB, Kangra-Himachal Pradesh, India. 
01892-265472 (Fax); 01892-263472 (Office)
Mobile: 094181-28634. 

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