The Government today said preliminary results of a survey showed that only 36.7 per cent of women in the age group of 15-49 years have heard of HIV/AIDS.
Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Panabaka Lakshmi said in the Lok Sabha that NSSO conducted the survey in 43 districts across 14 states to obtain information regarding schooling, education of children, particularly girls, hygiene, water supply and HIV/AIDS.
“The survey was carried out during March-May 2005, but reports are yet to be finalised. However, preliminary reports suggest that only 36.7 per cent of women in the age group of 15-49 years have heard of HIV/AIDS,” Lakshmi said in a written reply.
The financial assistance for the survey was provided by UNICEF.
The Minister said a Behavioural Surveillance Survey (BSS) was undertaken by NACO in 2006 covering about one lakh respondents. Based on this, awareness of HIV/AIDS among women in rural areas is estimated to be 74.7 per cent.
“The reliability of the BSS is much higher as the survey is focused on HIV and related issues as compared to UNICEF- funded survey that covered a large number of development issues, with only a few questions related to HIV,” she said.
Lakshmi said trends ascertained from sentinel surveillance studies clearly showed that there had been a gradual increase in HIV infection among rural population with current estimation showing 58.7 per cent of the 52 lakh infected with it in rural areas as compared to 29.2 per cent in 2002.