Prevalence of HIV/AIDS in India
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The first cases of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) were detected in 1981. AIDS leads to the destruction of several cells of the immune system by a retrovirus. The last stage of infection will result in the death of the patient. There are several retroviruses that cause AIDS: The most famous one is the HIV or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. There are three modes of transmission: through sex, blood transfusions and from mother to child during pregnancy.
There is no vaccine or cure for AIDS; the proliferation of HIV in the body can only be slowed and delayed, but nothing else. India is today among the most contaminated countries in the world with an estimate of 5.7 million people affected by AIDS. The UNAIDS report estimated in 2006 that 40 million people are living with HIV worldwide, while the figures for 2007 estimated 33.2 million.
Should we welcome this significant drop in infected people? Unfortunately not, since this decrease can be explained simply by new estimation methods that provide more accurate data which has led to a revision of previous estimates. About 70% of corrections were made in six countries (Angola, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria and Zimbabwe) and a considerably lower figure was compiled for India from 5.7 million to 2.5 million. However, even if the prevalence has stagnated, the number of infected people has increased and as many as 11,000 people are infected every day.
What is the current situation in India vis-à-vis HIV/AIDS? Who is most affected by the contamination and what kind of problems arise? What actions can be taken to fight this pandemic?
India, in competition with South Africa, is the country with the most people living with HIV / AIDS. Risk populations such as drug users, sex workers or homosexuals, are the first affected and suffer from discrimination because of their medical condition. Preventive actions and external support can engage in more efficient health policy.
Leaving aside the latest report from UNAIDS, which brings new figures on the level of HIV / AIDS contraction, India has been seen, since 2005, as one of the most contaminated countries in the world, ahead of South Africa. India, however, refuted the figures released by the Global Fund regarding the fight against AIDS. Note the difficulty of solving a problem if we do not accept its prior existence.
The Indian authorities, such as the Hindu nationalist BJP government before, refused to engage in broad health policy denying the enormity of the problem. They deemed isolation of those infected or displacement (which paradoxically increases as the transmission of infected individuals will bring the virus to other geographic areas) as the only answer to the problem. The virus was seen as a foreign disease imported from the "immoral and too permissive West. Sex with strangers were frowned upon and there was even a proposal to tattoo HIV-positive prostitutes in order to alert their customers.
Tags: AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), UNAIDS, unprotected sex