AIDS on declining trend, Indian figures slashed by 3 million: UN

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United Nations, Nov 21 (UNI) The number of people suffering from AIDS epidemic in India has been revised from six million to three million, according to a UN report.

Admitting that the threat was on a declining trend for nearly a decade, top scientists at the United Nations said scale of the global AIDS epidemic has been blown out of proportion.

Estimates of the worldwide number of people living with HIV have been slashed from last year's figure of nearly 40 million to 33 million.

New infections have also been calculated at 2.5 million, a cut of more than 40 per cent from last year's estimate.

The latest annual AIDS agency's report states that outbreaks of the disease were mostly concentrated in gay men, intravenous drug users and prostitutes.

The new result is being termed as a victory for critics arguing that the disease was being hugely overstated to draw political and financial support.

Over the past 10 years, global spending on Aids has soared to as much as 5 billion pounds annually.

The UN AIDS agency clarified that previous estimates were largely based on the numbers of infected women at ante-natal clinics, as well as projecting the AIDS rate among certain high-risk groups.

The crisis peaked in the late Nineties but the percentage of the world's population affected was now in decline.

Director of monitoring and evaluation at UN AIDS, Paul De Lay, however, warned that the condition was resurgent in the UK, the US and Germany.

''The epidemic is just waiting to come back if programmes are reduced,'' he added.

UNI

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