Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh has the highest number of HIV patients in the country. According to official statistics, the state had 5 lakh of the 24 lakh HIV positive patients in the country during 2011-12. Andhra Pradesh is followed by Maharashtra (4.19 lakh), Karnataka (2.45 lakh), West Bengal (1.67 lakh), Tamil Nadu (1.54 lakh), Gujarat (1.36 lakh) and Uttar Pradesh (1.09 lakh). All other states together account for 6.66 lakh HIV patients.
Earlier Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were in the first three places but this year AP leapt to the top spot, officials said. While one in every 300 adluts is suffering from HIV elsewhere, in Andhra Pradesh one in every 100 adults is a HIV patient, that is almost one per cent.
The prevalence of HIV is 1.07 per cent among males and 0.73 among female in the state, which again is higher than in other states. Its prevalence among adults (15-49 years) is 0.90 percent, pregnant women 1.22 percent, female sex workers 11.4 percent and homosexuals 23.6 percent in Andhra Pradesh. Among the affected districts Hyderabad leads with 61,389 HIV patients. It is followed by Guntur (55,254) and East Godavari (50,325).
Illiteracy, poor health, unemployment, migration, non-traditional sex practices and trafficking are some of the factors contributing to the spread of HIV in the state, according to experts. "The government has failed to prevent the occurrence and spread of HIV in the state. It has failed to create awareness in society on the risks and symptoms of AIDS," the officials said.