The number of people living with HIV/AIDS in India is 2.08 million (20.9 lakhs), ranking third with highest number of people living with disease globally, a report by International AIDS Vaccine Initiativeâ€™s (IAVI) India indicated on World AIDS day.
According to National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) Annual Report 2014-15 as on 2011 20.9 lakhs were affected by HIV/AIDS out of which s 86 per cent were in 15-49 years age group. Children less than 15 years of age accounted for seven per cent (1.45 lakh) of all infections in 2011. Of all HIV infections, 39 per cent (8.16 lakh) were among women.
Dr Rajat Goyal, Head of India Operations, International AIDS Vaccine Initiativeâ€™s (IAVI) India said â€œThe 28th annual World AIDS Day serves as a reminder though we have achieved great milestones in containing the disease a lot still needs to be done. Millions of the worldâ€™s most vulnerable people, families and communities are being left behind: those most affected face societal discrimination and stigma.â€
Even with much better access to and use of existing tools to fight the epidemic, millions more in developing countries are likely to contract HIV in decades to come.
â€œA vaccine is a critical part of any long-term strategy to end the AIDS epidemic. Only then will we make serious inroads against HIV-AIDS, in the way that we successfully conquered polio and smallpox,â€ Goyal added.
The report also stated that India strength is its rich pool of scientists and healthcare professionals who are globally competitive, a competitive scientific infrastructure and a thriving bio pharma industry. Additionally, the Government of India is committed to this critically important cause.