Nearly 53,000 children in the country are HIV positive, with Tamil Nadu topping the list with new 2,650 cases, health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
The minister said in 2006, about 2,253 cases were reported, while the following year 24,977 were registered. In November 2008, the figure touched 19,116.
"The cumulative total among children now stands at 52,973 in May 2009," Azad said.
India has 2.5 million HIV/AIDS cases.
The minister said the major source of the HIV infection in children is vertical transmission from their infected pregnant mothers.
"To arrest this trend, the Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) programme is being implemented since 2002," he said.
"In the year 2008, a total of 4.1 million pregnant women were counselled and tested, of whom 19,986 were found positive and 10,179 mother-baby pairs received prophylactic treatment to prevent transmission from infected mother to infant," he added.
Till May this year, Tamil Nadu reported the maximum new cases among children with 2,651 cases, as compared to 2,446 cases in 2008. It is followed by Maharashtra where 1,269 cases were reported till May as compared to 2008 when it topped the list of new cases at 4,714.
Andhra Pradesh, which had recorded the highest number of new cases among children in 2007 with 6,460 cases, this time till May showed a decline with 748 cases.
Last year, Delhi recorded 3,807 new cases and since then it has registered 748 cases.
Only Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim reported no cases this year.
Azad said the number of Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres have been increased from 1,476 to 5,155, while facilities providing treatment increased from 52 to 217 over the three year period.
He further said nearly 758,600 HIV positive people were being provided services under the National AIDS Control Programme's third phase. The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), a state-run anti-AIDS agency, provides quality health care for people living with HIV/AIDS.
"Treatment facilities are available in 217 medical facilities where treatment is being provided with anti-retroviral drugs to 232,908 patients, of whom 14,474 are children," the minister added.