New HIV infection that causes AIDS has halved in India over the past decade, reported the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Global Report released on Tuesday.
The UNAIDS report uses newly-generated data that factors in the change in methodology that led India to slashing its HIV estimates from 5.7 million in 2005 to 2.5 million in 2006.
"With 2.6 million new infections worldwide in 2009, the report recorded the reversal of the AIDS epidemic for the first time since it peaked with 3.1 mn new infections in 1999-2000," said Charles Gilks, UNAIDS country coordinator, India.
"The report has used the same methodolgy to go back to recalculate country estimates for the past decade. New data from 183 countries shows that infection has fallen by 20% in the last 10 years, AIDS-related deaths are down by 20% in the last five years, and the total number of people living with HIV has stabilised," said Gilks.
"India's done well because high-prevalence states such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra have cut down new infection dramatically, and Nagaland and Manipur are showing progress," said K Chandramouli, secretary and director general, National AIDS Control Organisation.
India is among 11 countries that report more than 75% condom use for high-risk sex.
New infections have fallen steadily since 2002, prevalence among adults falling from 45 to 31 per thousand. However, 2009 showed a marginal increase in India over 2008, going up to 23.95 lakh from 22.7 lakh in 2008.