The latest HIV estimates by the government reveal that women account for more than 40 per cent of those living with the infection in India. This is a concerning disclosure due to the risk of transmission though pregnancy, ignorance about contraception and vulnerable groups including sex workers.
As per the data, new HIV cases have shown a 66 per cent decline in the country in the last five year with India recording an average of 86,000 new infections in 2015. However, the prevalence of infection among women stands as a challenge for India to completely eradicate HIV by 2030.
The total number of people living with HIV is estimated at 21.17 lakh in 2015 compared with 22.26 lakh in 2007. While two-fifth of the total HIV infections are among women, children under 15 accounted for 6.54 per cent of the total cases.
As per medical experts, there is a huge need to escalate women's empowerment and HIV awareness campaigns.