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BMJ Open. 2012; 2(5): e000926.
Published online 2012 October 1. doi:  10.1136/bmjopen-2012-000926
PMCID: PMC3488742

Estimate of HIV prevalence and number of people living with HIV in India 2008–2009



To update the estimation of the adult HIV prevalence and number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in India for the year 2008−2009 with the combination of improved data and methods.


Based on HIV sentinel surveillance (HSS) data and a set of epidemiological assumptions, estimates of HIV prevalence and burden in India have been derived.


HSS sites spread over all the States of India.


Secondary data from HSS sites which include attendees of antenatal clinics and sites under targeted interventions of high-risk groups, namely, female sex workers (FSW), intravenous drug users (IDU) and men having sex with men (MSM).

Primary and secondary outcome measures

Estimates of adult HIV prevalence and PLHIV in India and its states.


The adult HIV prevalence in India has declined to an estimated 0.31% (0.25–0.39%) in 2009 against 0.36% (0.29–0.45%) in 2006. Among the high prevalence states, the HIV prevalence has declined in Tamil Nadu to 0.33% in 2009 and other states show either a plateau or a slightly declining trend over the time period 2006–2009. There are states in the low prevalence states where the adult HIV prevalence has risen over the last 4 years. The estimated number of PLHIV in India is 2.4 million (1.93–3.04 million) in 2009. Of which, 39% are women, children under 15 years of age account for 4.4% of all infections, while people aged 15–49 years account for 82.4% of all infections.


The estimated adult prevalence has declined in few states, a plateau or a slightly declining trend over the time. In future, efforts may be made to examine the implications of the emerging trend of the HIV prevalence on the recent infections in the study population.

Keywords: HIV prevalence, PLHIV

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