South Asia Monitor: Engaging India: U.S. Role in Combating the HIV/AIDS Pandemic - June 1, 2005
June 1, 2005
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is both a major international issue for the United States and one of the most serious questions hanging over India’s future, extending beyond public health into India’s economic and social prospects. Since 1986, when the first case was reported in India, HIV has spread rapidly from urban to rural areas and from high-risk groups to the general population. The Indian government’s figures released in May 2005 estimated that there were 5.19 million people suffering from HIV/AIDS in India. Currently HIV prevalence is estimated to be 0.9 percent of the adult population (between 15 and 49 years of age). The United States is one of the major external supporters of the AIDS control program in India, working through both official and private organizations. The two countries should capitalize on this strong collaborative relationship and extend their partnership not just to fighting India’s epidemic but to working together on a global scale.