Wednesday, December 13, 2006

HIV In India

Hhhm, it would appear that the medical authorities in India have been making exactly the same mistake as those in Africa about the prevalence of HIV infections.

The number of people living with HIV in India could be lower than government estimates, research issued on Wednesday said.
Scientists who studied the prevalence of the virus that causes AIDS in a district in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh -- the state has the highest HIV rate in India -- found it was less than half the government's figure.

The reason is the very strange places that they were actually measuring who had HIV in.

The researchers tested blood samples from more than 12,000 men and women aged 15-49 from both urban and rural areas in Guntur who were representative for the study.
The HIV prevalence rate they found was 1.72 percent and rose to 1.79 percent, or 45,900 cases, after they adjusted the number for high risk groups.
Official figures based on data collected from antenatal clinics, sexual health clinics, high risk groups and referrals of HIV positive and suspected cases to public hospitals put the number of cases at 112,600.

Why the over-estimate? Well, if you start at antenatal clinics (a group you are absolutely certain have been having unprotected sex) and sexual health clinics (a group you're pretty certain have) then you're bound to over-estimate the prevalence of a sexually transmitted disease. Simple really, wonder why anyone actually counted that way for so long.

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