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India's HIV stats may be too high

13th December 2006

New research has found that the number of people living with HIV in India may actually be lower than government estimates currently show.

Researchers tested blood samples from more than 12,000 men and women aged 15-49 from the southern city of Guntur, in Andhra Pradesh, which has the highest rate of HIV infection in the country.

They found a prevalence rate of 1.72%, which rose to 1.79% after adjustments for high-risk groups, leading them to estimate a total of 45,900 infections in the district.

Official figures, which rely on data collected from antenatal clinics, sexual health clinics, high risk groups and referral figures for HIV-positive patients to hospitals in the state, put that figure at 112,600 cases.

The United Nations estimates India has the largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS at 5.7 million.

 

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