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The Indian government released on Monday that the country has witnessed a significant decrease in HIV related cases in the last decade.
“HIV infections have declined by 56 percent during the last decade from 2.7 lakh in 2009 to 1.2 lakh in 2009 in our country,” Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
Referring to an international HIV vaccine symposium, Azad said that new evidence from the latest round of HIV Sentinel Surveillance shows further decline in HIV Prevalence among general population, including high risk groups.
“This has been possible due to political support at the highest levels to the various interventions under National AIDS Control Programme, including from Parliamentarians and elected leaders at the State and Local Levels and cooperation received from NGOs, civil society etc,” he said.
Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Ashwani Kumar also emphasized the development of technologies to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease.
“We believe that the new HIV infections could be significantly reduced if effective prevention programs are expanded and reach those at greatest risk of HIV infection,” he said.
Former president APJ Abdul Kalam suggested developing vaccine for prevention of the disease on a national mode, but that it may take some time to enact.
Kumar said that though number of new HIV infections continues to decline at current rates, there will still be more than 22 million new infections by 2015.
But for the present, the recent decline HIV patients is a small victory that continues to lend officials and India hope.