India could miss national target to end AIDS by 2030: ICMR study

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While COVID-19 The pandemic has halted the progress of several public health programs, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) found that India could miss the national target to end AIDS by 2030.

A study by the National Institute of Medical Statistics at ICMR, Division of Strategic Information – Surveillance and Epidemiology, National AIDS Control Organization under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, stated that the target would be difficult to achieve as there is a slow decline in the annual number of new HIV infections of only 27% from 2010 to 2017 against the national target of 75% by 2020.

According to the study published in the latest issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Research, the national adult HIV prevalence was estimated at 0.22% in 2017. Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland had the highest prevalence, higher at 1%. The study found that around 2.1 million people were living with HIV in 2017, with Maharashtra estimated to have the highest number. Of the estimated 88,000 new annual HIV infections nationwide in 2017, Telangana accounted for the largest share.

“HIV incidence has been found to be higher among key population groups, particularly people who inject drugs. Annual AIDS-related deaths were estimated at 69,000 nationwide. For all indicators, there was geographic variation in levels and trends between states,” the study said. “Although at the subnational level, some states have made better progress in reducing new HIV infections. This calls for a strengthening of HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment. efforts by geographic regions and population groups, the study adds.

The top three states with the highest number of people living with HIV in 2017 were Maharashtra (0.33 million), Andhra Pradesh (0.27 million) and Karnataka (0.24 million). States with an estimated number of people living with HIV of between 0.2 and 0.1 million were Telangana, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The study pointed out that elimination of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV is another critical goal to be achieved by 2020. on treatment in December 2018. States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana had relatively higher needs for PMTCT, however, treatment coverage was still significantly below the national average and therefore required attention particular, according to the study.

The study pointed out that there were 15 states which accounted for 87% of the total population of India in 2017. These accounted for 90% of the total burden of people living with HIV in India, about 86% of the total annual new HIV infections, 91% of annual AIDS-related deaths and 89% of total PMTCT needs. Additionally, there were indications of an annual increase in new HIV infections in the low-burden states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Uttarakhand in 2017 compared to 2010, the study pointed out.

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