New Delhi: The country has witnessed a 56 percent drop in HIV related cases in the last one decade, the government on Monday said.

"HIV infections have declined by 56 percent during the last decade from 2.7 lakh in 2000 to 1.2 lakh in 2009 in our country," Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

Addressing an international HIV vaccine symposium here, he said new evidence from the latest round of HIV Sentinel Surveillance shows further decline in HIV Prevalence among general population as well as high risk groups.

"This has been possible due to political support at the highest levels to the various interventions under National AIDS Control Programme, including from Parliamentarians and elected leaders at the State and Local Levels and cooperation received from NGOs, civil society etc," he said.

Emphasising on development of technologies to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease, Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Ashwani Kumar said that though number of new HIV infections continues to decline at current rates, there will still be more than 22 million new infections by 2015.

"We believe that the new HIV infections could be significantly reduced if effective prevention programs are expanded and reach those at greatest risk of HIV infection," he said.

Former President APJ Abdul Kalam suggested developing vaccine for prevention of the disease on a nation mode.


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