Sunday, Aug 07, 2022
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health

Back From The Dead

The great Indian AIDS crisis now looks a case of statistical blunders and NGOs weaned on a share of the grants

Back From The Dead
Back From The Dead
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Officials at unaids, the leading global body fighting hiv, admit to statistical blunders in the past and blame it on human errors committed at its Geneva office. Now, is it a coincidence that the errors seem to be happening too often in India's case? However, the agency promises that these will be rectified. Says Dr David Miller, country programme advisor: "Estimation of figures in recent years has become a very scientifically-based process in recognition of the need to have a reliable estimate. The agencies involved in the analysis of surveillance data are the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, the National Aids Control Organisation (naco), who, unaids and some international experts. In order to avoid confusion, we have decided to release a figure arrived at by consensus."

Now that hiv estimates have come under a cloud, doubts are being expressed about the projected enormity of the aids epidemic and the wisdom of spending the Rs 1,450 crore earmarked by the government for its prevention. Health activists are demanding that the government come out with credible hiv/aids data. This demand is not without reason. Ever since the first case of aids was reported in 1986, a multitude of wavering figures and projections mapping the epidemic have been dished out by the government-run naco and international agencies like unaids, who and the World Bank, the key players in the fight against hiv. Here are some of their inexplicable conclusions:

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