India denies having highest number of HIV infections

Richard Feachem, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, has warned that India now has the highest number of HIV-infected people, overtaking South Africa. The Indian government officially reports 5.1 million HIV-infected citizens, compared to the most recent estimates from the United Nations that 5.3 million people are infected in South Africa. But Feachem argues that the Indian government's statistics are an underestimate due to limited testing and that the actual number falls in the higher end of the 2.5 - 8.5 million range.

Feachem also accused the Indian government of not doing enough to combat their epidemic. He pointed out that many of the world's generic antiretrovirals are produced in India but are not available to Indian citizens at prices they can afford. The government's National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) quickly denied Feachem's accusations saying that they stand by their estimates and that programs are being developed to deal with HIV/AIDS in India.