Injecting drugs threaten India’s AIDS fight : U.N.

By Bappa Majumdar

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - HIV/AIDS infections will spread like “bushfire” in parts of India if the country fails to check a spike in the number of intravenous drug users, the United Nations AIDS agency said Thursday.

India has the world’s third highest caseload with 2.5 million infections. It has an estimated 200,000 intravenous drug users, many of whom are in the remote northeast region which borders the opium-producing Golden Triangle of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos.

“If we don’t prevent new infections in new emerging populations like injecting drug users, it can go up as bushfires. We may see a major surge in infections,” Peter Piot, the executive director of UNAIDS, said.

He also raised concerns about the spread of drugs in India. “Drug use is moving a bit everywhere, we can see it in Bihar, UP (Uttar Pradesh) and in Kashmir, it is kind of moving across the northern part of the country,” Peter Piot, head of UNAIDS told Reuters.

“I was really shocked to hear what was going on.”

Official figures show that more than 10 percent of intravenous drug users in India are infected with HIV, a higher prevalence than among prostitutes. The country’s overall HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is about 0.9 percent for those aged between 15 and 49.

(Editing by Krittivas Mukherjee)


Related Posts:

By Lucy Hornby BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s efforts to combat the spread of AIDS among drug users is being undermined by its harsh treatment of drug addicts, Human Rights Watch warned in a report Tuesday. Injecting drugs is one of the main causes of new HIV infections in China, which has helped drive more funding and attention

Full Post: Crackdown on drugs hurts China AIDS fight: report

By Tume Ahemba LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria will launch a new campaign to vaccinate millions of children against polio Wednesday in an attempt to curb the spread of the disease that has crippled hundreds this year, the World Health Organization said. Africa’s most populous country, which accounts for more than 50 percent of new polio cases in

Full Post: Nigeria to launch mass polio immunization drive

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - HIV infections could surge if countries pinched by the global financial crisis cut AIDS prevention programs, a United Nations agency said on Friday. Paul De Lay, a senior official at UNAIDS, said that economic turmoil was a threat to development programs as cash-strapped governments start to pare back on international aid. The

Full Post: U.N. warns against cuts to AIDS prevention programs

BEIJING (Reuters) - The number of gay men in China who are HIV positive has risen sharply in the last three years, according to a survey of Chinese cities conducted by the Ministry of Health. Men with HIV make up 4.9 percent of the gay population, up from 0.4 percent in 2005, the Xinhua news agency

Full Post: China sees sharp rise in HIV-positive gay men

BEIJING (Reuters) - Women must be more involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS, a disease increasingly being spread through sex, and men must also be encouraged to respect women more, a senior U.N. official said Friday. Nafis Sadik, U.N. special envoy for HIV/AIDS in the Asia-Pacific region, told a poverty alleviation conference in Beijing that lack

Full Post: Women need empowerment in fight against AIDS: U.N.

Site Navigation

Most Read