KATHMANDU: An estimated six to seven HIV cases are being reported daily at National Centre for AIDS and STD Control (NCASC).
Approximately 70,000 people (both adults and children) are estimated to be living with HIV in Nepal, according to NCASC, which runs the AIDS prevention and control programme in the country.
According to the centre, a total of 12,387 HIV cases- a majority of them in their age brackets 30-39- had been reported in December last year.
A majority of those reported cases is said to have contacted the disease through sexual transmission and sharing of unclean needles, the NCASC said.
Nepal has moved from ‘low prevalence’ country to a ‘concentrated epidemic’ in recent years. Countries with HIV prevalence rate exceeding five per cent are ranked as ‘concentrated epidemic’. Nepal is well above five per cent and the country is ranked as ‘concentrated epidemic’, the centre said. The prevalence rate among those ‘sharing unclean needles’ - a term health experts frequently referred to - is fuelled largely by Intravenous Drug Users (IDUs), majority of them in Kathmandu, stated the centre.
National HIV and AIDS Action Plan 2008 -2011has shown that the HIV prevalence rate among female sex workers and their clients, male sex workers, men having sex with men and returning migrant workers oscillate between 1.5 to 2 per cent.
Dambar Prasad Ghimire, Director, HIV/AIDS and STI Control Board, said citing 2008 data that the rate of HIV prevalence among adults in Nepal is 0.49 per cent. He added that efforts are on to tackle the spread of pandemic.