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In India, Blood Transfusions are affecting people with HIV


Lucknow: The National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) has revealed the information in response to an RTI petition filed by information activist, Chetan Kothari, said a BBC Report.

According to the RTI reply, Uttar Pradesh makes up the highest number of patients infected with HIV through transfusion of contaminated blood in hospitals with 361 cases, followed by Gujarat with 292 cases and Maharashtra with 276 cases. The Capital Delhi alone has registered 264 cases as of yet. States like Meghalaya, Tripura and Sikkim have zero reports.

Kothari says he was “shocked” by the information his query brought out. He added, “This is the official data, provided by the government-run NACO. I believe the real numbers would be double or triple that.”

As per the HIV Estimation Report (2015), 21.17 lakh people are presently living in the country with HIV/AIDS. With this, India constitutes the world’s third largest population of people affected by HIV. The other two leading the numbers are South Africa (68 lakhs) and Nigeria (34 lakhs).

National adult (15–49 years) HIV prevalence is estimated at 0.26% (0.22%–0.32%) in 2015. In 2015, adult HIV prevalence is estimated at 0.30% among males and at 0.22% among females.

Among the states/UTs, in 2015, Manipur has shown the highest estimated adult HIV prevalence of 1.15%, followed by Mizoram
(0.80%), Nagaland (0.78%), Andhra Pradesh & Telangana (0.66%), Karnataka (0.45%), Gujarat (0.42%) and Goa (0.40%).

The adult HIV prevalence at national level has continued its steady decline from an estimated peak of 0.38% in 2001-03 through
0.34% in 2007 and 0.28% in 2012 to 0.26% in 2015.

People living with HIV

The total number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in India is estimated at 21.17 lakhs (17.11 lakhs–26.49 lakhs) in 2015 compared with 22.26 lakhs (18.00 lakhs-27.85 lakhs) in 2007. Children (< 15 years) account for 6.54%, while two fifth (40.5%) of total HIV infections are among females. Annual New HIV Infections India is estimated to have around 86 (56–129) thousand new HIV infections in 2015, showing 66% decline in new infections from 2000 and 32% decline from 2007, the year set as baseline in the NACP-IV. Children (<15 years) accounted for 12% (10.4 thousand) of total new infections while the remaining (75.9 thousand) new infections were among adults (15+years). Despite many efforts, blood transfusion remains a source of HIV infection globally, with its incidence varying between high-income and low-income countries. In India, shortage of several million blood units occurs every year, with only 1% being the rate by which HIV infection through blood transfusion has decreased lately. “There are private labs which also conduct these tests but they charge hefty amounts. Therefore, it is not possible for poor people to get it done,” said Kothari. The law in India makes it mandatory for hospitals to screen both the donors and the donated blood and check for HIV, hepatitis B and C, malaria, syphilis, and other such infections.”But each such test costs 1,200 rupees and most hospitals in India do not have the testing facilities. Even in a big city like Mumbai, only three private hospitals have HIV testing facilities. Even the largest government hospitals do not have the technology to screen blood for HIV,” said Kothari.

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