The number of HIV positive cases among adults in Chandigarh is on the rise as per the a report — India HIV Estimations 2015 — prepared by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).
However, Dr Vineeta Gupta, project director, Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society (SACS), disagrees with the data and claims that the number of HIV cases is declining.
NACO and union ministry of health and family welfare periodically undertake HIV estimations to provide the updated information on the status of HIV cases in India.
The latest report list out HIV prevalence, number of people living with the disease, new HIV infections, AIDS-related mortality and treatment needs.
As per the report, the estimated adult (15–49 years) HIV prevalence in Chandigarh (.35%) is more than the national average.
The national adult HIV prevalence is estimated at .26% in 2015. Further, rising trends in adult HIV prevalence has been observed in some of the hitherto relatively low prevalence states/UTs, such as Chandigarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Punjab, Tripura, Assam, and Uttarakhand.
As far as annual new HIV infections are concerned, the report mentions, “A rising trend in new (HIV) infections among adults during 2007-15 has been detected in Chandigarh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.”
In Chandigarh, the estimated number of annual new HIV infections (above 15 years) has increased in the last six years. While 200 new infections were reported in 2010, the number rose to 240 in 2013 and then to 298 in 2015.
AIDS-related deaths in the city too have gone up. A total of 78 estimated deaths were reported in 2013, and the number increased to 87 in 2015.
While the national report shows an increase in the number of new HIV infections detected in the city, Dr Vineeta Gupta discarded the finding, saying that the number of new HIV infections is on the decline in the city and the report does not show the true picture.
Dr Gupta said instead of ART (Antiretroviral Therapy) centres, government should take data from integrated counselling and testing centres (ICTC) ( to know the correct position. There are around 20 ICTC in the city, where people get themselves registered.
She explained, “For UTs like Chandigarh and Delhi, they should collect data from ICTC centre to get the correct picture. Because ART (PGIMER) is flooded with patients from adjoining states and very few are from Chandigarh. As per figures with us, HIV/AIDS in city has declined from .27% to .12% in 2015, which is less than the national percentage.”