India sees major reductions in HIV infections: UN report

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India saw a major reduction in the number of new HIV infections, AIDS-related deaths and people living with HIV from 2010 to 2017 on the back of sustained and focussed efforts, according to a UN report which warned that the epidemic was growing in Pakistan.
The Joint UN Agency on AIDS (UNAIDS) report titled ‘Miles to go closing gaps, breaking barriers, righting injustices’ said Asia and the Pacific regions have made strong inroads with its HIV response.
Sustained and focused efforts to reach key populations have led to major reductions in HIV infections in Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam between 2010 and 2017.
The report, however, warned that the global new HIV infections were not declining fast enough. It also noted that the epidemics were expanding in Pakistan and the Philippines.
In India, new HIV infections dropped from 120,000 in 2010 to 88,000 in 2017, AIDS-related deaths from 160,000 to 69,000 and people living with HIV from 2,300,000 to 2,100,000 in the same time period, the report said.At the halfway point to the 2020 targets, the report warned that the pace of progress was not matching global ambition.Although this is nearly half the number of new infections compared to the peak in 1996 (3.4 million), the decline is not quick enough to reach the target of fewer than 500,000 by 2020.
The report also shows that key populations are not being considered enough in HIV programming.
Key populations and their sexual partners account for 47 per cent of the new HIV infections worldwide and 97 per cent of new HIV infections in eastern Europe and central Asia, where one third of new HIV infections are among people who inject drugs.
“The right to health for all is non-negotiable,” said Sidibe.

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