Author(s): Solomon S, Chakraborty A, Yepthomi RD
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Abstract India has a population of more than 1 billion people. Although only about 0.7\% of its population is infected with HIV, it has more cases than any other country in the world, with more than 4.5 million HIV-seropositive patients. The epidemic of HIV/AIDS in India is distributed between the urban and rural populations mainly in the southern and western states of the country (APAC-VHS, Community Prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Tamil Nadu-A Report, 1998; Solomon, Kumarasamy, Ganesh, & Amalraj, 1998, International Journal of Medical Research, 85; 335-338). India has several different epidemics in various parts of the country. The epidemic in the western and southern states is primarily heterosexual. The northeastern states of India, being in geographical proximity to the Golden Triangle of Asia, initially experienced HIV in the injection drug user population and their sexual partners, but spread to the heterosexual population has been increasing. At present, the northern states, which are the most densely populated, appear to remain largely unaffected by the HIV epidemic. India has mounted a broad intervention program, including the government, and international, nongovernmental, and community-based organizations. The main barriers to effective control are insufficient resources, illiteracy, and stigma. Antiretroviral drugs are manufactured in the country and exported elsewhere, but their affordability (despite a drastic reduction in costs) and the feasibility of monitoring patients on drugs are in question. Starting April 1, 2004, the government of India has announced free provision of ART drugs to all who need it in the six most prevalent states of India.
This article was published in AIDS Educ Prev
and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy