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HIV/AIDS estimates down by 50 p.c.: study

Aarti Dhar

NEW DELHI: The revised figure of people infected with HIV/AIDS in the country is 2.47 million, against the previous number of 5.2 million. The prevalence rate is also down to 0.36 per cent. The earlier percentage was 0.9 per cent. The new data for 2006, released on Friday, indicate that the national adult HIV prevalence is approximately 0.36 per cent, which corresponds to an estimated 2 million to 3.1 million people living with HIV.

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said that while it was heartening to know that the number of those affected was lower, there was no room for complacency. There would be no change in the strategy. In fact, it would be intensified. Compiled by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and supported by the UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation, the figures are said to be more accurate than the previous ones, as these are based on an expanded surveillance survey and a revised and enhanced methodology.

There are 104 districts where the prevalence rate is more than one per cent. In 14 districts, the percentage of sero-positive people is more than three. Dharwad district of Karnataka has the highest — over six per cent. The new survey is primarily based on the data obtained through a household-based National Family and Health Survey (NHFS-III).

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