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Number of HIV Cases in India Not Inflated: Ministry

Rubbishing a British journal's research report that the number of HIV cases in India is inflated by 60 percent, the health ministry Friday said// that the estimate was unrealistic.

According to the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), India is home to 5.2 million HIV-infected people in the age group of 15-59.

Quoting an article published in British journal BMC Medicine, a section of the Indian media reported that the estimates of HIV/AIDS patients in the country could be inflated by 60 percent.

"NACO has reviewed the article with a team of experts. Though, the study is well conducted and is of great value to understand the epidemic in Guntur district (in Andhra Pradesh) and its immediate neighbourhood, applying the findings of one district to the entire country of 611 districts is undesirable and out of the scope of the original objectives," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry also questioned the claim made by Baba Ramdev, a popular spiritual leader and yoga expert, that yoga can cure AIDS. A separate statement from the ministry said that though yoga is beneficial for a healthier life, it is not wise to claim that it can cure the disease.

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