'Under-30 age group worst hit by AIDS'

A pan-India survey conducted ahead of World AIDS Day revealed this startling fact

In a recent pan-India study by Metropolis Healthcare Ltd ahead of World AIDS Day, it has been revealed that the prevalence of HIV infection is highest in the younger age-group. The study indicates that there is maximum incidence of HIV in both males and females within the age-group of less-than-30 years.  

Alarming results
With a total of 918, 277 people screened, the survey spans eight major cities of Mumbai, Noida, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat and Kerala. The survey has been conducted across three tests, namely Western Blot Test for  HIV-1 specific & 2, HIV Proviral DNA - blood by PCR, and HIV-DUO by CMIA (IVth Generation test), which highlights the fact that incidence of HIV is more prevalent in the younger age-group, which is quite alarming. According to the United Nations 2011 Aids Report, every day over 7,400 people are infected with HIV and 5,500 die from AIDS-related illnesses.  

Dr Jatinder Bhatia, chief of lab services, projects - North India, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, said, "Globally, the incidence of HIV, which was rapidly increasing between 1990 and 1996, has slowly declined from then onwards. Various treatment methods and awareness programmes helped in controlling the disease by creating mass awareness, educating people about safe sex and ill effects of HIV infection. As per the recent data, the incidence of HIV is maximum in younger age groups, that is, 20-30 years, which is a major concern".

It has been inferred that less-than-30 years of age group are the maximum afflicted group.  The confirmed-cases group with HIV infection is between 30-40 years of age.  It has been observed it is predominant in males over females, the ratio being 60:40.  

"Out of the screened positive tests, more than 50% are confirmed cases, tested with Western Blot Test for HIV-1 specific & 2.  Rate of positivity out of the screened tests is 10 % in Mumbai and Surat, while it is 30-40% at other places, especially north India," added Dr Bhatia.

Measures for prevention
There have been recent advances across various fields focusing on the prevention, diagnostics and treatment of the life-threatening disease. Overall, globally, with a healthy trend in the declining rate of HIV infections, individuals have become more aware of the ill effects of the disease and therefore are more focused towards working on the preventive measures.

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