(July 2007) Some 2.5 million people in India have HIV, according to newly revised estimates released by India’s National AIDS Control Organization, supported by UNAIDS and the World Health Organization. This figure is less than half of UNAID’s earlier estimate of 5.7 million people with HIV, which would have been the largest caseload in the world.

The earlier prevalence rate, an estimated 0.9 percent, has now been dropped to an estimated 0.36 percent.

The revised numbers are considered more accurate than those from previous years, because they are based on an expanded surveillance system and a revised and enhanced methodology. In 2006, the government created 400 new sentinel surveillance sites and facilitated the National Family Health Survey-3, a population-based survey.

The news release with the new 2006 estimates can be found at http://data.unaids.org/pub/PressRelease/2007/070706_indiapressrelease_en.pdf. The earlier 2006 estimates for India can be found at www.unaids.org/en/HIV_data/2006GlobalReport/default.asp, under Annex 1: Country Profiles.

–Sandra Yin, PRB Associate Editor