India has approximately 21.40 lakh people living with HIV-AIDS, according to a report by National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).
While new infections declined nationally between 2010 and 2017, there are inter-state variations. New infections in 2017 in Arunachal Pradesh increased by 65 per cent, in Assam by 37 per cent, Mizoram by 18 per cent, Meghalaya by 10 per cent and Uttarakhand by 4 per cent.
With 3.30 lakh people living with HIV-AIDS, Maharashtra has the highest number, contributing 15 per cent of the country’s total. Around 69,11,000 people died of AIDS-related causes in 2017. Annual AIDS-related deaths among people living with HIV-AIDS kept increasing till 2005, and then started to decline. Since the peak, the number of annual AIDS-related deaths have declined by almost 71 per cent.
At 2.04 per cent, Mizoram had the highest adult HIV prevalence, followed by Manipur at 1.43 per cent and Nagaland at 1.15 per cent. The report showed that India’s progress in dealing with the AIDS epidemic has been satisfactory, but sounded a note of caution.
“Inter-State variations in the trend of death due to AIDS-related illness persist. Estimated AIDS-related deaths are still rising in Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana, Delhi and Uttarakhand, while they have stabilised in Assam. These are states where the implementation of the Anti-retroviral therapy programme needs to be more closely monitored and strengthened. More needs to be done to accelerate progress on the 90-90-90 targets…,” the report said.