According to The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); the world will be done away AIDS before 2030. Given that the disease has been around for a very long time, many initiatives have been taken from time to time by the government to eliminate the same.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been a massive step for its banishment. As of today, there is a 56% decline in the diagnosed patients with HIV since 2010 in India. Let’s look at some statistics for the same.
Let’s talk statistics
In the past two decades, globally there has been a decline in the number of people newly infected by HIV. According to World Health Organization (WHO), there were 36.7 million people living with HIV in 2016.
And positively, lesser people have been infected newly with HIV – lesser than it has ever been since 1991. Furthermore, it adds, the global HIV epidemic has claimed fewer lives in 2015 which is, lower than it ever was.
In 2010, about 14,291 people were diagnosed with HIV in Mumbai as compared to that of just 6772 in 2016.
In India, according to the National Aids Control Organization in 2015, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have the highest estimated number of people living with HIV.
This is followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. These seven states together account for two-thirds (64.4%) of total estimated people living with HIV.
“There is a 56% decline in those being diagnosed with HIV if we check from 2010 onwards. It is a positive sign that indicated a lot of people are aware of HIV now and also opt for treatment. This is because of the expansion of ART,” said Dr Shrikala Acharya, additional project director of Mumbai District Aids Control Society (MDACS).
In Mumbai, currently, as many as 35,987 people have been put on ART. “We have increased the number of ART centres as well as the awareness of ART. From December 01 onwards, we are also starting an ART centre in Kamathipura,” added Dr Acharya.
The WHO also claims that a massive expansion of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has reduced the global number of people dying from HIV-related causes to about 1.1 million in 2015 which is 45% lesser than it was in 2005. UNAIDS/WHO estimates show that more than 18 million people were receiving ART in mid-2016.
Even today, one of the most disturbing truths which we come across is, according to experts is the stigma attached to the disease. “The stigma today is significantly less. However, one can’t deny that it is not easily accepted as an illness,” said Dr Rohan Jahagirdar, a senior psychiatrist from Pune.
New initiatives in Mumbai
On this World AIDS Day, the Mumbai Districts AIDS Control Society (MDACS) will tie up with One Rupee Clinics in different railway stations for HIV screening. One Rupee Clinics were started early this year to provide treatment for people in the railway stations wherein mishaps are quite common. Moreover, the treatments were made very affordable for people.