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India HIV & AIDS Statistics
India has a population of 1.2 billion people, around half of whom are adults in the sexually active age group. The first AIDS case in India was detected in 1986 and since then HIV infection has been reported in all states and union territories.
The spread of HIV in India has been uneven. Although much of India has a low rate of infection, certain places have been more affected than others. HIV epidemics are more severe in the southern half of the country and the far north-east. The highest estimated adult HIV prevalence is found in Manipur (0.78%), followed by Andhra Pradesh (0.76%), Karnataka (0.69%) and Nagaland (0.66%).1 However for the first time, in 2010 no states reported HIV prevalence among ANC antendees of 1.0% or more.
Unless otherwise stated, the data on this page has been taken from a 2012 report by the Indian government’s AIDS organisation – NACO (National AIDS Control Organisation).2
Estimated number of people living with HIV/AIDS, 20093
|People living with HIV/AIDS||2.39 million|
|Adult (15 years or above) HIV prevalence||0.31%|
Previously it was thought that around 5 million people were living with HIV in India - more than in any other country. Better data, including the results of a national household survey conducted in 2005-2006, led to a major revision of the prevalence estimate in July 2007.4 It is now thought that around 2.39 million people in India are living with HIV. Of these, an estimated 39% are female and 4.% are children.5
Back-calculation suggests that HIV prevalence in India may have declined slightly in recent years, though the epidemic is still growing in some regions and population groups.
HIV statistics, 2010-20116
NACO releases HIV figures each year based on data gathered from HIV Sentinel Surveillance sites. In 2010 surveillance was conducted at 1,359 sites and 358,797 samples were tested for HIV. The sites carry out tests among the high-risk groups and among antenatal clinic attendees. Data gathered from the antenatal clinics are then used as a surrogate for the general population.
Across India HIV prevalence appears to be low among the general population, but disproportionately high among high-risk groups, such as IDUs, female sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM) and STD clinic attendees.
The average HIV prevalence among women attending antenatal clinics in India is 0.40%. Much higher percentages are found among people attending STD clinics (3.6%), female sex workers (2.67%), injecting drug users (7.14%) and men who have sex with men (4.43%). As the table below shows, the figures among different groups vary widely between states.
|State/Union Territory||Antenatal clinic HIV prevalence 2010-11 (%)||STD clinic HIV prevalence 2007 (most recent data) (%)||IDU HIV prevalence 2010-11 (%)||MSM HIV prevalence 2010-11 (%)||Female sex worker HIV prevalence 2010-11 (%)|
|A & N Islands||0.13||1.33||...||...||...|
|D & N Haveli||0.00||...||...||...||...|
|Daman & Diu||0.13||...||...||...||...|
|Jammu & Kashmir||0.06||0.20||0.00||...||0.00|
|Odisha (formerly Orissa)||0.43||1.60||7.16||3.79||2.07|
|Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry)||0.13||3.22||...||1.21||1.21|
|Uttarakhand (formerly Uttaranchal)||0.25||0.00||4.33||...||...|
Some areas report an HIV prevalence of zero in antenatal clinics. This does not necessarily mean HIV is absent from the area, as some states report the presence of the virus at STD clinics and amongst injecting drug users. In some states and territories the average antenatal HIV prevalence is based on reports from only a small number of clinics.
National Family Health Survey 2005-2006, HIV statistics
The most recent National Family Health Survey, conducted between 2005 and 2006, measured HIV prevalence among the general adult population of India, as presented in the table below.7 The survey found HIV prevalence among men to be considerably higher than that among women.
|Age group||HIV prevalence (%)|
|Total age 15-49||0.36||0.22||0.28|
The National Family Health Survey, which tested more than 100,000 people for HIV, also found prevalence to be higher in urban areas (0.35%) than in rural areas (0.25%).
AIDS-related deaths statistics
According to NACO, the annual number of AIDS-related deaths peaked in 2006 at 200,000. In 2009 172,000 people were reported to have died from AIDS-related causes.8
It should be noted that many AIDS-related deaths go unreported in India, due to unprecedented levels of stigma and discrimination. In many situations a patient will die without HIV having been diagnosed, and with the death attributed to an opportunistic infection, such as tuberculosis.
- 1. NACO (2011) 'Annual Report 2010-2011'
- 2. NACO (2012, December) 'HIV Sentinel Surveillance in India 2010-11: A technical brief'.
- 3. NACO (2012) 'Annual Report 2011-2012'
- 4. WHO (2007, 6th July) '2.5 million people in India living with HIV, according to new estimates’
- 5. NACO (2012) 'Annual Report 2011-2012'
- 6. NACO (2012) 'HIV Sentinel Surveillance 2010-2011, A Technical Brief'
- 7. International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and Macro International (2007) 'National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) 2005-06', India: Volume 1
- 8. NACO (2011) 'Annual Report 2010-2011'