The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) on September 14, 2018 released the HIV Estimations 2017 report.
The HIV Estimations 2017 report is 14th in the series of HIV Estimations launched earlier under the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP). The first round of HIV estimation was done in 1998, while the latest round was done in 2015.
NACO undertakes HIV estimations in every two years in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) - National Institute of Medical Statistics (NIMS).
Key findings of HIV Estimations 2017
• The report highlights the significant achievement of nation’s response on AIDS prevention as well as on treatment front.
• It indicates that there is no place for gratification as the country aims to achieve the ambitious goal of attaining the ‘End of AIDS’ by 2030.
• As per the report, India had around 21.40 lakh people living with HIV (PLHIV) with adult prevalence of 0.22 percent in 2017.
• Around 87.58 thousand new HIV infections and 69.11 thousand AIDS related deaths happened in 2017.
• Over 22000 mothers needed Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV.
• HIV Estimations 2017 confirmed the previous findings in terms of characteristic of the HIV epidemic, that is, the national prevalence and incidence remain low, but the epidemic is high in some geographical regions and population group.
• The report noted that the rate of decline in annual new HIV infections has been relatively slower in recent years.
• Overall, the impact of the programme has been significant with more than 80 percent decline in estimated new infection incidences from peak of epidemic in 1995.
• Estimated AIDS related death declined by 71 percent since its peak in 2005.
• As per UNAIDS 2018 report, the global average for decline in new infections and AIDS related deaths from peak has been 47 percent and 51 percent respectively.
What Is HIV/AIDS?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is the virus that can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), if not treated. AIDS is the most severe phase of HIV infection. People with AIDS have badly damaged immune systems that they get an increasing number of severe illnesses.
Once contacted with HIV, the human body can’t get rid of the virus completely, even with treatment. HIV attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), which help the immune system fight off infections.
Untreated HIV reduces the number of CD4 cells in the body, making the person more likely to get other infections or infection-related cancers. The virus progresses in the absence of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), a drug therapy that slows or prevents the virus from developing.
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