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India and AIDS

Disturbing story in the Times on HIV/AIDS in India. Though the overall prevalence of the disease may remain low, India’s population size means that the absolute numbers of people with HIV in India are among the highest in the world in absolute terms. Here are some excerpts:

India has at least 5.1 million people living with H.I.V., the second highest number after South Africa. It is, by all accounts, at a critical stage: it can either prevent the further spread of infection, or watch a more generalized epidemic take hold. Global experts worry that India is both underspending on AIDS and undercounting its H.I.V. cases.
Its national highways are a conduit for the virus, passed by prostitutes and the truckers, migrants and locals who pay them, and brought home to unsuspecting wives in towns or villages. In its largest infrastructure project since independence, India is in the process of widening and upgrading those highways into a true interstate system. The effort will allow the roads to carry more traffic and freight than ever before. But some things are better left uncarried.

In light of Nate’s earlier posting on sex practices in Africa, here is something very interesting:

And advocates battling the spread of AIDS say they have learned that men having sex with men, then with their wives, is surprisingly common, but veiled by stigma.
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