Tamil Nadu’s HIV success story is far from over

From a prevalence rate of 0.83 per cent in Tamil Nadu in 2003, HIV/AIDS has come down to 0.27 per cent, with 1.42 lakh people living with the disease in the state. | Photo - iStock

Almost 33 years ago, Tamil Nadu rang the HIV/AIDS alarm bells for the country, with the diagnosis of the disease among six sex workers in Chennai by Dr Suniti Solomon, founder of YRG Care, who played a pivotal role in its treatment. Having been at the heart of the discovery, the state began pioneering work in terms of testing, counselling and treatment, besides creating awareness.

From a prevalence rate of 0.83% in Tamil Nadu in 2003, it has come down to 0.27%, with 1.42 lakh people living with the disease in the state.

The average number of fresh cases reported every year was hovering around 15,000 till six years ago, and there has been a steady dip recently. The latest data from the Tamil Nadu State Aids Control Society shows that 10,321 new cases were reported from across the state in 2019.

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