India Home to 3rd Highest Number of HIV-Infected People

HIV prevalence among people who have migrated from rural to urban areas in India is estimated at 0.9 per cent.

Published: 17th July 2014 12:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2014 12:34 PM   |  A+A-


DELHI: HIV prevalence among people who have migrated from rural to urban areas in India is estimated at 0.9 per cent, almost four times the national prevalence, according to the UN report.

"Whether you live or die should not depend on access to an HIV test," said Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS.

"Smarter scale-up is needed to close the gap between people who know their HIV status and people who don't, people who can get services and people who can't and people who are protected and people who are punished," he said.

The UNAIDS report shows that as people find out their HIV-positive status they will seek life-saving treatment.

In sub-Saharan Africa, almost 90 per cent of people who tested positive for HIV went on to access antiretroviral therapy (ART), the report said.

In 2013, an additional 2.3 million people gained access to the life-saving medicines, bringing the global number of people accessing ART to nearly 13 million by the end of 2013, it said.

"If we accelerate all HIV scale-up by 2020, we will be on track to end the epidemic by 2030," Sidibe said.

"If not, we risk significantly increasing the time it would take, adding a decade, if not more," he said.

By ending the epidemic by 2030, the world would avert 18 million new HIV infections and 11.2 million AIDS-related deaths between 2013 and 2030.

UNAIDS reported the lowest levels of new HIV infections this century, at 2.1 million. In the last three years alone, new HIV infections have fallen by 13 per cent.

It is estimated that 35 million people were living with HIV in the world at the end of 2013.

AIDS-related deaths are at their lowest since the peak in 2005, having declined by 35 per cent.

Tuberculosis continues to be the leading cause of death among people living with HIV.

The report outlines that to close the gap between people who are reached with HIV services and people who are not will require research and innovation combined with protective laws that promote freedom and equality for all people.

"It will also require increased commitment from the global community and countries most affected to the remarkable returns on investment that have been witnessed over the last 10 years to continue so that the end of the AIDS epidemic can be achieved by 2030," the report said.

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