India Reaching ‘Tipping Point’ of 1% Adult HIV/AIDS Prevalence Rate, APM’s ‘Marketplace Morning Report’ Says
APM's "Marketplace Morning Report" on Tuesday examined how India is on the verge of reaching what many AIDS experts believe to be the "tipping point" of a country's HIV/AIDS epidemic -- a 1% adult prevalence rate. An estimated 5.1 million HIV-positive people live in India, and some experts say the number of HIV cases in the country could reach 20 million within a decade. India spends $0.30 per person annually on prevention and treatment, less than most African nations spend, according to APM. Although the government is beginning to spend more on fighting the disease, Michael Weinstein -- president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which runs joint treatment programs with 30 countries, including India -- warned that more must be done to prevent the virus from spreading. "India will be South Africa. India will be Botswana. There's no question whatsoever. The number of cases have already reached a level where it is a threat to the whole nation," Weinstein said. Ashok Alexander, director of Avahan -- the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's five-year, $200 million program to fight HIV/AIDS in India -- said that business leaders, who can "pick up the phone and call the prime minister," need to use their influence in society and "speak out" about the epidemic (Small, "Marketplace Morning Report," APM, 5/3). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.