In India, 1.96 lakh new HIV infections were reported last year according to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study, 2015 that was released at the International AIDS meeting in Durban. The GBD-2015 also said that worldwide new HIV infections were stagnating at 2.5 million a year.
The study added that a total of 28.81 lakh people in India were living with HIV.
While the GBD-2015 study is based on a meta analysis of data by the researchers, at National AIDS Control Organisation, officials, however, stand by the India HIV Estimation 2015 report that showed 86,000 new HIV infections last year. This report is based on an internationally acknowledged model, NACO officials pointed out. “Our programme data is so robust that it even challenges HIV estimates by UNAIDS,” NACO officials told The Indian Express.
The new analysis from the GBD-2015 study, which was published Tuesday in The Lancet HIV journal, reveals that although deaths from HIV/AIDS have been steadily declining from a peak in 2005, 2.5 million people worldwide became newly infected with HIV in 2015, a number that hasn’t changed substantially in the past 10 years.
The new GBD estimates, therefore, show a slow pace of decline in new HIV infections worldwide, with a drop of just 0.7 per cent a year between 2005 and 2015, compared to the fall of 2.7 per cent a year between 1997 and 2005.
Annual deaths from HIV/AIDS have been declining at a steady pace from a peak of 1.8 million in 2005, to 1.2 million in 2015, partly due to the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART). These findings come from a comprehensive new analysis of HIV incidence, prevalence, deaths and coverage of ART at the global, regional, and national level for 195 countries between 1980 and 2015.
“We estimated incidence, prevalence, and death with GBD versions of the Estimation and Projection Package and Spectrum software originally developed by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) ,’’ said lead author Dr Haidong Wang from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.
For India, GBD -2015 estimates show that 1.31 lakh people died due to AIDS in 2015. However, experts at the NACO and the National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) point out that there has been a steady decline in the number of new HIV infections.
In fact, as per the India HIV Estimation 2015 report, the national adult (15-49 years) HIV prevalence in India was estimated at 0.26 per cent in 2015. India was estimated to have around 86000 new HIV infections in 2015, showing a 32 per cent decline from 2007, the year set as baseline in the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP-IV).