According to a UNAIDS new report, for the first time the scales have tipped: more than half of all people living with HIV (53%) now have access to HIV treatment and AIDS related deaths and AIDS related deaths have almost halved since 2005.In 2016, 19.5 million of the 36.7 million people living with HIV had access to treatment, and AIDS-related deaths have fallen from 1.9 million 2005 to 1 million in 2016. India remains the country with the third largest population of people with HIV after South Africa and Nigeria.
Under the report Ending AIDS: progress towards the 90-90-90, revealed taht in India, only 49 per cent of patients were on Antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2016.The coverage of pregnant women living with HIV accessing antiretroviral medicines is 41 per cent and for children it is a mere 33 per cent.
The report shows that in 2016 more than two thirds (70%) of people living with HIV now know their HIV status. Of the people who know their status, 77% were accessing treatment, and of the people accessing treatment, 82% were virally supressed, protecting their health and helping to prevent transmission of the virus.Seven countries have already achieved the 90–90–90 targets—Botswana, Cambodia, Denmark, Iceland, Singapore, Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland—and many more are close to achieving it.
Only 25.7% Indian youth (15-24 years) are aware of HIV prevention.
At least 62,000 AIDS-related deaths occurred in 2016, compared to 150,000 in 2005—a 58.6% fall. At least 80,000 people contracted HIV in the country, compared to 150,000 new cases in 2005—a fall of 46.6%.
“We have recently launched ‘Test and Treat Policy for HIV’ policy. As soon as a person is tested and found to be positive, she will be provided with ART. We have intensified our efforts to find all those who are infected with HIV,” said Dr. Arun K. Panda, additional secretary, National Aids Control Organization (Naco).
The Union health ministry has recently written to all states and WEUnion territories to direct private clinics and hospitals in their respective areas to compile and submit a list of HIV/AIDS cases they are treating.The move has been taken in a bid to get a definite data on HIV/AIDS.“Because there is a taboo associated with HIV/AIDS, and patients feel shy of coming to a government hospital, we miss a considerable data on HIV/AIDS. We want to get an accurate and authentic data on HIV/AIDS. The government will also duly validate the data from private clinics and hospitals keeping the patients’ details confidential,” said Dr. Panda.
Globally, progress has been significant, but there is still more work to do. Around 30% of people living with HIV still do not know their HIV status, 17.1 million people living with HIV do not have access to antiretroviral therapy and more than half of all people living with HIV are not virally suppressed.
Progress against the 90–90–90 targets has, however, been poor in the Middle East and North Africa and in eastern Europe and central Asia, where AIDS-related deaths have risen by 48% and 38%, respectively. There are exceptions within these regions showing that when concerted efforts are made, results happen. For example, Algeria has increased HIV treatment access from 24% in 2010 to 76% in 2016, Morocco from 16% in 2010 to 48% in 2016 and Belarus from 29% in 2010 to 45% in 2016.