‘Nepal making progress in fight against HIV’

Kathmandu, November 29

At least 39,249 people are estimated to be living with HIV in Nepal, according to the National Centre for AIDS and STD Control.

Of them, 1,968 are children (0-14 years), 28,869 are adults (15-49 years) and 8,412 are persons above the age of 50.

According to a recent statistics released by the NCASC under the Ministry of Health and Population in the run-up to the World AIDS Day, which falls on December 1, adult (15-49 years) HIV prevalence is 0.2 per cent. The Day will be celebrated with the theme: ‘Getting to zero’.

Dr Dipendra Raman Singh, NCASC director, said Nepal had made a remarkable progress in reducing new HIV cases, thanks to pro-active measures of the government.

“The adult prevalence is 0.2 per cent in Nepal compared to global HIV prevalence of 0.8 per cent. It is a testimony to the fact that Nepal is making progress in the fight against HIV,” he informed.

The first HIV case was reported in Nepal in 1988. As of July 2015, only 26,702, including 16,701 males, 9,942 females and 59 third genders were tested positive for HIV. It means at lest one-third of the people living with HIV have yet to identified and the government has not been able to reach them so far.

Sex workers, people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, clients of sex workers, migrant workers and their spouse or partners are vulnerable to being exposed to HIV.

At least 1,739 new infections were estimated in 2014 compared to 7,325 in 2010. The drop percentage is 80. “In 2014, an estimated 178 children were infected with HIV. It is less than 62 per cent compared to 2010 when 468

children were believed to have been infected with HIV,”said

the centre.

In 2014, HIV/AIDS claimed 2,567 lives when compared with 2010 when 3,307 HIV-related deaths were reported. This accounts for 22 per cent drop in HIV/AIDS deaths. As of July 2015, as many as 14,745 person infected with HIV have been enjoying Antiretroviral Therapy compared to 11,089 in 2010. This shows that people’s access to ART has increased by 146 per cent during the period.

ART was started in Nepal in February 2004 from Sukraraj Tropical and infectious Hospital, Teku. Currently, ART is being provided from 61 sites in 55 districts.