India: 70,000 children infected with HIV, says report

Kolkata, Jun 10: At least 70,000 children in India are infected with HIV, the ailment caused mainly through parent-to-child-transmission (PTCT), said a recent survey, National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).

"UNICEF supports the government in its effort to halt and reverse the HIV/AIDS outbreak in India to reduce the transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their children," said Ivonne Camaroni, country chief , UNICEF, HIV and AIDS, in a seminar on Thursday, Jun 10.

The participants of a seminar, UNICEF-state AIDS Prevention and Control Society in Kolkata quoting the NACO, said that small numbers of the children are diseased through blood tansfusions and unsafe injections.

The UNICEF said that it wanted to improve the potentiality of the staff through developing innovative communication methods to prevent HIV and care, help in improving monitoring and reporting systems, provide the supply of commodities and drugs through PTCT with 21,000 children getting infected, every year.

The possible factors that led to the infection were blood transfusion, HIV positive mothers not failing to take prevention facility during pregnancy, mother-to-child transmission, said Camaroni.

A study conducted by UNICEF also revealed that 72 percent of infected with HIV/AIDS belong to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. The survey was carried out by UNICEF from their Bengal office and Bengal Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, was conducted between Jan 2009 till Sep 2010, covering about 857 HIV infected children from 995 families.

According to the study that included 995 families, 40 percent depended heavily on daily wages, 12 percent did not have any employment and 10 percent belonged to unorganised sector.

The survey also showed that about 33 percent mothers and 29 percent fathers of infected children were illiterate.

OneIndia News

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