Five-Year Campaign Aims To Fight Spread Of HIV/AIDS In Northeastern States

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India's National AIDS Control Organization and UNAIDSon Friday launched a five-year campaign that aims to reduce the riskand impact of HIV/AIDS in the country's northeastern states, ANI/DailyIndia.com reports. Panabaka Lakshmi, minister of state in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said the government wants to increase its efforts in the Northeast because of the region's high HIV prevalence.

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Thekey components of the campaign -- which received an $8.9 million grantfrom the Australian government -- include capacity building, as well asadvocating support and care for women and children in the region. Theinitiative also aims to develop innovative, state-specific programs andwill reach out to rural districts by establishing a network of HIV/AIDSservices that will partner with state and community programs. Accordingto Australian High Commissioner John McCarthy, the $8.9 million grantwill benefit four of the northeastern states -- Manipur, Meghalaya,Mizoram and Nagaland.

According to ANI/DailyIndia.com, Manipurand Nagaland are two of the six states with the highest HIV/AIDSprevalence in India. In addition, estimates have shown that 30% of thecountry's injection drug users reside in the northeastern region,ANI/DailyIndia.com reports (ANI/DailyIndia.com, 10/12).

Accordingto official estimates, there are approximately 200,000 IDUs in India,although advocates say the number likely is higher. About 2.2% of allHIV cases in the country are transmitted through injection drug use,according to NACO. Denis Broun, head of UNAIDS in India, said that thefigure likely is higher than 2.2%. "The percentage for IDUtransmissions may be relatively small, but if there are more IDUs thanthought, it could be a major transmission route in the future," Brounsaid (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/13).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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