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Rate of new HIV infections in India down by 50 pc

June 03, 2011 18:15 IST

The rate of new Human Immunodeficiency Virus infections fell by more than 50 per cent in India between 2001 and 2009. This is double of the average decline in the world, according to a new report released on Friday by Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, which said the global response to Acquired immune deficiency syndrome is showing results.

"In India, the rate of new HIV infections fell by more than 50 per cent and in South Africa by more than 35 per cent. Both countries have the largest number of people living with HIV on their continents," according to 'AIDS at 30: Nations at the Crossroads' study.

The UNAIDS report said the global rate of new HIV infections declined by nearly 25 per cent between 2001 and 2009.

As the world marks 30 years of AIDS, UNAIDS estimates about 34 million people are living with HIV and nearly 30 million people have died of AIDS-related causes since the first case of AIDS was reported on June 5, 1981.

It said about 6.6 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy in low and middle-income countries at the end of 2010, a nearly 22-fold increase since 2001.

A record 1.4 million people started life-saving treatment in 2010 -- more than any year before. According to the report, at least 420,000 children were receiving antiretroviral therapy at the end of 2010, a more than 50 per cent increase since 2008.

"Access to treatment will transform the AIDS response in the next decade. We must invest in accelerating access and finding new treatment options," said Michel Sidibe, Executive Director, UNAIDS .

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