//5.21 million adults with HIV in the country

5.21 million adults with HIV in the country

NEW DELHI, APR 23 (PTI)

About 5.21 million adults are estimated to be living with HIV infection in the country as per the latest official estimates with government announcing an improved strategy to collect data on the disease in the country by next year.

"According to the estimates in 2005, 5.206 million adult people are HIV infected," Director General of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) K Sujatha Rao told reporters here.

The adult prevalence is still less than one per cent at 0.91 per cent in the country, she said.

However, she cautioned that the figures were just an estimation and the government still did not know how many people were dying of HIV.

Besides, 90 per cent of the infected people did not know that they carried the infection. In 2004, 5.13 million people were estimated to be infected by the virus, Rao said.

A study to get estimates on mortality due to HIV was on under the Indian Council of Medical Research and results were expected in two months, she said.

Rao said that with an aim of getting better estimates on HIV/AIDS, the government would create 400 new sites for annual sentinel surveillance on HIV by next year.

The total number of sites would become 1150 with an additional expenditure of Rs four crores. The new sites would be created in states such as UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

Besides, the National Family Health Survey was also being caried out with 134,000 sample size, she said adding this was a community-based study which would also help in getting estimates on HIV.

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