HIV/AIDS in the SAARC Region
HIV epidemic in SAARC region is also a collection of diverse epidemics in countries, provinces & districts. HIV/AIDS continues to be a major public health problem in the SAARC Region. All eight Member States of the SAARC region are designated as low prevalence countries. On the basis of latest available information this region is home for an estimated number of 2.24 million HIV infected people and 0.15 million AIDS deaths in 2014. Table 02 shows the estimated number of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in eight Member States of the SAARC Region in the year 2014. Three countries, namely India, Nepal and Pakistan account for majority of the regional burden. The first HIV infected persons were diagnosed in 1986 in India and Pakistan. By 1993, all SAARC Member States had reported the existence of HIV infection in their countries.
Table: Adult HIV Prevalence Rates and Estimated Number of PLHA in SAARC Region, 2014
The overall adult HIV prevalence in SAARC region remains below 1%. However, there are important variations existing between countries. Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan have reported concentrated epidemics among the key affected populations. Of the estimated number of 2.24 million PLHIV in SAARC region, 2.09 million were living in India in 2014.
Table: Estimated number of adults and children receiving and needing antiretroviral therapy and
On the basis of latest available information (UNAIDS report “How AIDS Changed everything”-2015), this region has 2.04 million estimated numbers of adults needing ART while in the region 0.78 million reported number of adults and 46570 numbers of children on ART in 2014. Table 03 shows three countries, namely India, Nepal and Pakistan account for majority of the regional burden.
Chart: Estimated HIV Prevalence – adult (ages 15-49) in the SAARC Region, 2014