World Aids Day: Infections in Nepal fall by 84% in two decades Reporter
Dec 01, 2022

Kathmandu/RSS: New HIV infections fell by 84 percent in the past two decades in Nepal.

According to data unveiled by the National Centre for Aids and STD Control, Teku, the Ministry of Health and Population, the new infections were declined by 84 percent in 2021 in comparison of 2000.

In 2000, 4,370 HIV-infected were found in Nepal and the number fell to 680 in 2021. As assessed by Centre director Dr Sudha Devkota, hunt for probable infected and effective medical interventions are considered as the factors behind the improvement in the infection containment.

New infections rate is slowing down each year. Till the year 2021, the total number of infected was 30,000 and of them 0.12 percent are adults and 45 are children under 14, the data shows.

Likewise, 21,723 or 72 percent are reeving antiretroviral therapy (ART). Dr Devkota sees the need of bringing all the infected into treatment procedures.

HIV infected continue to suffer social taboo and discriminations in the society and it must be ended, according to Devkota.

In 2021, 510 people died of HIV in the country and the figure was 1,765 back in 2007. The fatality rate in 2021 from the disease went down by 71 percent in compared to 2007. “This achievement was due to extensive medical intervention.”

Now, ART is available in 84 centers in 61 districts free of cost and community programmes against HIG infection have been implemented targeting mother- to- child transmission of HIV.

Vulnerable group? Most vulnerable groups are the people who inject drugs, sex workers including gays and third genders, and those in foreign countries who have unsafe sex. Of them, injection drug users, and gay sex workers are at higher risk.

According to a national survey in 2020, injection drug sharing accounted for HIV infection at a 3 percent rate. Female sex workers share HIV infection at a 2.2 percent rate, and gay sex workers at 6.2 percent, according to a survey carried out in 2017-18.