HIV :: Nearly 70,000 children living with HIV virus in India

An estimated 70,000 children are HIV positive in the India, while nearly 21,000 others get the infection every year, the Indian Rajya Sabha was informed.

Indian Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Panabaka Lakshmi said paediatric antiretroviral ARV drugs are available at 127 centres across the country.

She said as per the revised estimates, there are 70,000 HIV infected children in the country and nearly 21,000 new infections occur in children every year.

“Following the launch of paediatric ART initiative in November 2006, more than 18,000 infected children have been identified and currently nearly 6,500 eligible children are receiving ARV paediatric drugs,” she said.

Denying that there was any shortage of ARV drugs, she said about 17,000 children are availing them.

The minister said the estimates for the year 2006 recently released by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), supported by UNAIDS and WHO, indicated that there are around two million to 3.1 million people living with HIV in the country.

Noting that the epidemic has stabilised at 0.36 per cent prevalence level during the last four years, she said in 2006 and 2005, the HIV figure in the country stood at 2.47 million.

By using the new method of estimation, she said the number of HIV infected persons in 2004 was found to be at 2.44 million.

Andhra Pradesh, which has a prevalence rate of 1.6 per cent, has around 4,79,866 people infected with the virus, while in Manipur, having a prevalence rate of 1.68 per cent, the figure stands at 22,010.

In Nagaland with a prevalence rate is 1.27 per cent, around 15,277 people have been infected with the virus.

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