At least 42 people in Bangladesh died of AIDS, 111 others got infected with HIV and 288 found HIV positive in Bangladesh this year, leading English newspaper The Daily Star reported on Monday.
Abul Kalam Azad, additional secretary to the health ministry, said this at a roundtable on "Fighting AIDS and Role of Leadership" here on Sunday.
"As of last year, 123 people died of AIDS, 365 others got infected and 1,207 found HIV positive," he said.
Health experts and civil society members at the roundtable said the prevalence of HIV infection is still lower in Bangladesh than other countries of the region, but there is nothing to be complacent about it because there is every element that can turn the situation worse.
They said the drug users and sex workers are the most risky groups to spread HIV, but the efforts to free youths from drug addiction and to supply adequate condoms to brothels are not adequate.
They emphasized that the authorities should frame a pragmatic policy on HIV/AIDS, while the government, NGOs and donors must join hands to formulate an action plan to create massive awareness, provide care and support to infected people and reduce the increasing rate of infection by 2015.
The first HIV positive patient in Bangladesh was identified in 1989.