Nepal shows remarkable improvement in fighting HIV/AIDS

Nepal shows remarkable improvement in fighting HIV/AIDS

KATHMANDU, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Rallies and awareness programs at various places marked the World AIDS Day here on Sunday as the Himalayan nation moves to meet the Millennium Development Goal ( MDG) for HIV.

The country is well on track to meet the MDG if the progress on decreasing the prevalence rate among adults (15-49 age group) is maintained at the current rate till 2015, experts said.

According to latest data released by the National Center for AIDS and STD Control (NCASC), the HIV prevalence rate had dropped to 0.28 in 2012 from 0.30 in 2011.

Nepal is among the few countries, along with Cambodia, India, Myanmar and Thailand, where new HIV infections have declined by more than 50 percent between 2001 and 2012, said a report published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The NCASC data also shows a decreasing number in the annual HIV cases reported in the country. In the last three years, HIV reported cases have gone down from 1,751 in 2010 to 1,088 in 2012. Similarly, deaths due to AIDS have fallen from 4,900 in 2010 to 3, 521 in 2012.

Experts have contributed the improvement to the high level of awareness about HIV/AIDS among the people and growing number of prevention and treatment programs in the country.

However, the government's role in fighting for the cause is seen lacking as only 2,433 HIV patients have been receiving medication provided by the government at present out of the 21,511 patients registered with the government. It is estimated that there are 48,600 people living with HIV/AIDS virus in Nepal. The first HIV infection in the country was detected in 1988.