August 14, 2012
India has seen a steep decline in new HIV cases in the past 10 years, the health and family welfare minister announced today. "HIV infections have declined by 56 percent during the last decade, from 2.7 lakh [270,000] in 2000 to 1.2 lakh [120,000] in 2009," Ghulam Nabi Azad told an international AIDS vaccine forum meeting in New Delhi. "This has been possible due to political support at the highest levels to the various interventions under National AIDS Control Program, including parliamentarians and elected leaders at the state and local levels and cooperation received from NGOs, civil society, etc." Expanding effective prevention programs that target those at highest risk could further cut new infections, said Ashwani Kumar, the minister of science, technology and earth sciences.