AIDS Current Affairs - 2020

ICMR Study: India likely to miss AIDS target by 2030

The Indian Council of Medical Research has warned that India is likely to miss the national target of ending AIDS in the country by 2030. According to the council, this is mainly due to the halted progress of several health programmes due to COVID-19.


According to ICMR, the annual decline of annual new HIV infections between 2010 and 2017 was 27%. Under the new target, GoI intended to reduce AIDS in the country by 75% by 2020. This seems highly ambitious and now has become challenging with COVID-19 crisis.

Findings of the Study

The Study says that national adult prevalence of HIV amongst male was 0.22% in 2017. The states of Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland had the highest prevalence of over 1%. There were 2.1 million people living with AIDS in 2017. Maharashtra is estimated to have the highest number of all the states.

In 2017 alone, there were 88,000 annual new AIDS cases reported in the country. The number of people that died due to AIDS in the country were 69,000 annually.

State Wise

The states with highest number of people living with HIV were Maharashtra (0.33 million), Andhra Pradesh (0.27 million), Karnataka (0.24 million). The other states that had highest number of AIDS infected cases were West Bengal, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. These states had cases between 0.2 and 0.1 million patients.

The study says that there are rising new infections in low-burden states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Uttarakhand.


India had critical targets set such as prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. The target is to be achieved by 2020. Of 22,677 cases of mother-to-child transmission cases, only 58.2% were under treatment as of December 2018. The states such as Telangana, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh had relatively higher PMTCT.

ICMR to replace HCQ with anti-HIV drug; Kangra Tea Suggested

The Indian Council of Medical Research recently revised its advisories on Hydroxychloroquine. The Council is considering to replace the drug with anti-HIV drugs.


The HCQ drug was recommended for asymptomatic health care workers. However, the ineffectiveness and side effects of the drug is making the council look into alternatives. The assessment of using HCQ by the Task Force says that front line workers working against COVID-19 are facing side effects such as nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting. This has made the council look for alternates to the drug.

The anti-HIV drugs are being recommended to replace HCQ. Apart from these drugs, the Kangra Tea has also been suggested.

Kangra Tea

Kangra Tea is a tea variety from Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. The tea received GI tag in 2005.

The Kangra Tea is a Chinese variety called Camelia sinensis that was first planted in 1848. The 1905 earthquake and its damages forced the British to close several of the KAngra Tea factories in the region. Later, it was replenished in 2012.