NEW DELHI, Feb 2 (AFP) - Here is a factfile on HIV/AIDS in India:
- India has the second largest number of HIV infections, behind South
Africa, at five million people, or one in every eight of the almost 40 million
- New Delhi says the national prevalence for HIV infection is 0.9 percent
of adults with some districts, such as Belgaum in north Karnataka state, with
a population as big as Ireland, showing 4.5 percent of the adult population
- Some agencies providing help in highly-affected areas of India say the
ture rate of infection could be five to eight percent in particularly poor
districts. Five percent is considered a tipping point for exponential growth.
- The epidemic is driven by commercial sex workers in four hard-hit states
in southern India -- Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
- Intravenous drug use is driving a rise in HIV infections in two
northeastern states along the border with Myanmar -- Manipur and Nagaland.
- While infection rates are growing nationally, the epidemic is still
largely concentrated among high risk behavior groups, including sex workers,
who are among the poorest and most vulnerable in India, as well as truckers
who travel nationwide.
- If HIV prevention programs aren't successful, a spiraling epidemic could
destabilize governments, derail economic progress and overwhelm an already
fragile health system, warns the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation HIV/AIDs
initiative in India.
- Resources to cut the HIV infection rate in India are among the lowest per
capita worldwide -- at 146 million dollars annually including the government,
international donor and charities -- slightly less than 29 cents each for
India's one-billion-plus population.
- Successful HIV infection prevention programs in other countries cost
more: Thailand spends 55 cents per person for example and Uganda spends one
dollar eighty-five cents per person.
- The main causes of rising HIV infection rates in India include
unprotected sex with multiple partners; a flourishing commercial sex work
trade; lack of condoms; high rates of untreated sexually transmitted
infections; and the inability of women to negotiate condom use.
- Women are particularly vulnerable because of unequal treatment under the
law and exposure to high levels of violence from men. Many women are driven to
sell sex by drought, poverty or illness in their families.
Sources: UNAIDS; WHO; 2004 International AIDS Conference; UN Population
Fund, Avahan, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation HIV/AIDs initiative in