No significant decrease in north

Data analysed in 4 southern and 14 northern States Fall in prevalence among women Lack of surveillance sites in north

New Delhi: A one-third decline in new HIV infections has been noticed in the worst-hit southern States but the rate in the north has not changed much, according to a study by Indo-Canadian scientists.

The study, published online in the journal `Lancet' on Thursday, used HIV trends among young women attending antenatal clinics as a proxy to monitor trends in new infections among the general population.

It analysed the HIV prevalence data from 2,94,050 women who attended 216 antenatal clinics and 58,790 men who attended 132 STI (sexually transmitted infections) clinics during 2000-04 in four southern and 14 northern States.

"The good news is that HIV in young adults appears to be declining in south most likely or perhaps only due to males using sex workers less or using condoms more often when they do," Rajesh Kumar from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, who is among the lead authors of the study, told reporters here. PTI