HIV Project Averted 100,000 Infections In India


LONDON – More than 100,000 fresh HIV cases have been averted over the last five years among the general population in India which has some 2.4 million people living with the virus, according to a study in ‘The Lancet’ journal.

This is all thanks to a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation -funded US dollars 338 million project, called Avahan, which was launched in six Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur and Nagaland in 2003.

Avahan was launched for the purpose of reducing the spread of HIV in India and developing a model prevention system to encourage others worldwide to adapt and adopt it.

The project serves the groups that are most vulnerable to HIV infection, including sex workers, their clients, high-risk men who have sex with men, and injecting drug users in the six Indian states with an estimated population of 300 million.

All these six states had the highest prevalences of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in India in 2003, according to the study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, University of Hong Kong and the Public Health Foundation of India.