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FOCUS - 2030: AIDS will be fourth-largest killer
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30 Nov 2006
A head of World AIDS Day on December 1, the World Health Organisation has projected AIDS as the fourth leading cause of death by 2030, behind depression, heart disease and road accidents.
The WHO's updated 'burden of disease' projections released this month shows India emerging as one of the few countries with projected large population of AIDS/HIV patients. India has 3.5 million people
(IMPORTANT: footnote on revision of estimates in July 2007) with the disease and the number is increasing. Andhra Pradesh tops the States in the country.
India with 16 per cent of the world's population has 21 per cent of the world's global burden of disease, including AIDS. The WHO's projection is for 2030 and its statistics are based on 2002 figures.
The WHO revised in November its projection on global burden of diseases giving AIDS the status of the Killer No. 1.
According to the WHO report, global HIV/AIDS deaths may rise from 2.8 million in 2002 to 6.5 million in 2030 if the antiretroviral drugs reach 80 per cent of people by 2012. In the most optimistic scenario with increased prevention activity, HIV/AIDS deaths may drop to 3.7 million by 2030.
The UNAIDS report estimates that 65 million people have HIV, of whom some 25 million have died since the start of the epidemic 25 years ago. The rate of new HIV infections continues to climb every year, with an estimated 4.1 million people having been infected in the twelve months ending December 2005.
Globally, the total number of people living with the virus had reached 38.6 million at the end of 2005. At this stage of the global AIDS epidemic there are more HIV infections every year than AIDS-related deaths.
With the WHO projecting an alarming scenario for AIDS, the National AIDS Control Organisation has increased its efforts to move towards centralising blood transfusion services and to reduce fragmentation in management, especially in urban areas.
"All aspects like processes, products, equipment, consumables etc. would increasingly be subjected to quality assurance procedures, so that a safe and reliable transfusion services can be provided," says a NACO strategy report.
Eminent sexologist Dr K Swayam Prakash says that the regulatory mechanism has to be strengthened to a great extent to detect and stop malpractices in blood banking. "Greater coordination between national and state blood transfusion councils and drug control is needed. Training and orientation of drug inspection in the field needs to be speeded up and made more effective in fulfilling their regularly functions," he said.
The United Nations has also called for action to tackle tuberculosis which kills more than one million people every year in Asia and is also a major cause of death for those with HIV/AIDS.
According to the World Health Organisation, about 40 to 50 per cent of the nearly six million adults living with HIV are likely to be infected with TB.
The warnings come after three good years when efforts led by country government and big-bill philanthropists led by Bill Gates and former president Bill Clinton started to gear up their funds to control AIDS.
The price of antiretroviral drugs also plunged with the industry cutting costs and introducing low-cost generic drugs.
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