- Associated Press - Monday, October 10, 2011

A study suggests that an estimated 100,000 people in India’s general population may have escaped HIV infection over five years thanks to one of the world’s biggest prevention programs.

While the initial findings of the $258 million Avahan project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, come with large uncertainty due to data limitations and methodology, the authors say the overall message is clear. They say investing in prevention can make a dent in one of the world’s largest epidemics, with an estimated 2.4 million Indians infected.

The program was assessed from 2003 to 2008 in six Indian states, home to 300 million people and the country’s highest HIV rates when it started.

The study was published Tuesday in The Lancet medical journal.