Sustained progress, but no room for complacency: Results of 2015 HIV estimations in India
Arvind Pandey1, Neeraj Dhingra2, Pradeep Kumar2, Damodar Sahu1, D.C.S. Reddy3, Padum Narayan1, Yujwal Raj4, Bhavna Sangal2, Nalini Chandra5, Saritha Nair1, Jitenkumar Singh1, Laxmikant Chavan6, Deepika Joshi Srivastava7, Ugra Mohan Jha2, Vinita Verma2, Shashi Kant8, Madhulekha Bhattacharya9, Pushpanjali Swain10, Partha Haldar8, Lucky Singh1, Taoufik Bakkali5, John Stover11, Savina Ammassari5
1 ICMR-National Institute of Medical Statistics, New Delhi, India
2 National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University (Former Professor), Varanasi, India
4 Consultant/Former NPO NACO, New Delhi, India
5 United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), New Delhi, India
6 World Health Organization, WHO, New Delhi, India
7 Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, CDC India, New Delhi, India
8 Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
9 Department of Community Health, National Institute of Health & Family Welfare, New Delhi, India
10 Department of Statistics and Demography, National Institute of Health & Family Welfare, New Delhi, India
11 Avenir Health, Glastonbury, USA
ICMR-National Institute of Medical Statistics, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi 110 029
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background & objectives: Evidence-based planning has been the cornerstone of India's response to HIV/AIDS. Here we describe the process, method and tools used for generating the 2015 HIV estimates and provide a summary of the main results.
Methods: Spectrum software supported by the UNAIDS was used to produce HIV estimates for India as a whole and its States/Union Territories. This tool takes into consideration the size and HIV prevalence of defined population groups and programme data to estimate HIV prevalence, incidence and mortality over time as well as treatment needs.
Results: India's national adult prevalence of HIV was 0.26 per cent in 2015. Of the 2.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS, the largest numbers were in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. New HIV infections were an estimated 86,000 in 2015, reflecting a decline by around 32 per cent from 2007. The declining trend in incidence was mirrored in most States, though an increasing trend was detected in Assam, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh. AIDS-related deaths were estimated to be 67,600 in 2015, reflecting a 54 per cent decline from 2007. There were variations in the rate and trend of decline across India for this indicator also.
Interpretation & conclusions: While key indicators measured through Spectrum modelling confirm success of the National AIDS Control Programme, there is no room for complacency as rising incidence trends in some geographical areas and population pockets remain the cause of concern. Progress achieved so far in responding to HIV/AIDS needs to be sustained to end the HIV epidemic.