Containing HIV/AIDS in India: the unfinished agenda

CARE, Merrifield, Virginia, United States
The Lancet Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 19.45). 09/2006; 6(8):508-21. DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(06)70551-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT India's HIV epidemic is not yet contained and prevention in populations most at risk (high-risk groups) needs to be enhanced and expanded. HIV prevalence as measured through surveillance of antenatal and sexually transmitted disease clinics is the chief source of information on HIV in India, but these data cannot provide real insight into where transmission is occurring or guide programme strategy. The factors that influence the Indian epidemic are the size, behaviours, and disease burdens of high-risk groups, their interaction with bridge populations and general population sexual networks, and migration and mobility of both bridge populations and high-risk groups. The interplay of these forces has resulted in substantial epidemics in several pockets of many Indian states that could potentially ignite subepidemics in other, currently low prevalence, parts of the country. The growth of HIV, unless contained, could have serious consequences for India's development. India's national response to HIV began in 1992 and has shown early success in some states. The priority is to build on those successes by increasing prevention coverage of high-risk groups to saturation level, enhancing access and uptake of care and treatment services, ensuring systems and capacity for evidence-based programming, and building in-country technical and managerial capacity.

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    ABSTRACT: Although India has demonstrated success in the overall reduction of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) incidence by 57% in the past 10 years, its control among men who have sex with men (MSM) remains a critical challenge. This paper describes the current status, geographic variability, and factors associated with HIV among MSM from the national perspective. DATA ON THE LEVELS AND TRENDS OF HIV SEROPOSITIVITY AND ASSOCIATED RISK BEHAVIORS AMONG MSM WERE ANALYZED AND PRESENTED FROM THE FOLLOWING DATA SOURCES: 1) annual HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS) conducted during 2003-10, 2) two rounds of the high-risk group size estimation conducted in 2005 and 2009, 3) two rounds of the Behavioral Surveillance Survey conducted in 2006 and 2009, and 4) the Integrated Bio-behavioral Assessment Round 2. Data were analyzed according to selected sociodemographic characteristics and sexual identities of MSM to understand the factors associated with high HIV prevalence. HSS data indicate that at the national level, HIV prevalence among MSM overall is declining (from 12.3% in 2003 to 4.43% in 2010). However, marginal increasing trends were observed in Chandigarh (from 1.4% in 2004 to 2.8% in 2008) and Haryana (from 0% in 2006 to 3.2% in 2008). HSS data indicate high (>5%) levels and increasing trends in HIV prevalence among MSM in eight states of India during 2003-10. Analysis of 2010 HSS data indicates that HIV prevalence was >10% in seven states. The factors associated with high HIV prevalence among MSM were being a kothi (the receptive partner in oral and anal sex, and typically with effeminate mannerisms) or a double-decker (both penetrative and receptive partner) rather than being a panthi (the penetrative partner in oral or anal sex) (8% vs 4.3%; P<0.05), being older than 25 years in age than their younger counterparts (9% vs 4.5%; P<0.05), illiterate rather than literate MSM (9.5% vs 6.9%; P<0.05), and employed versus unemployed MSM (9.1% vs 7.8%; P<0.05). While HIV prevalence among MSM at the national level is declining, it continues to remain high in some states and cities. Programs need to build on the successes in reducing HIV among female sex workers in order to control the high HIV prevalence among MSM in India.
    HIV/AIDS - Research and Palliative Care 01/2014; 6:159-170. DOI:10.2147/HIV.S69708
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    ABSTRACT: Background Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is a significant problem among female sex workers (FSWs) in Nagaland, India. Place of solicitation and sex vary considerably in this context. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between categories of sex work and HIV risks.Methods In 2009 a survey was undertaken among 417 FSWs in Dimapur, Nagaland using an interviewer-administered questionnaire and blood and urine samples. Using this data, we constructed a typology of sex work by combining usual place of solicitation and place of sex, and examined variations in demographics, sex work patterns, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV prevalence across typology categories. Binary logistic regression analyses were done to examine the association between category of sex work and HIV, STIs, and condom use.ResultsBy combining place of solicitation with place of sex, seven distinct categories of sex work emerged. The largest category were women who usually solicited in a public place and had sex in a rented room or lodge (31.7%, n¿=¿132). One-tenth of participants were HIV positive (10.3%) and 35.4% had at least one STI (reactive syphilis serology, gonorrhoea or chlamydia). FSWs who both solicited and entertained in a rented room or lodge (OR¿=¿13.3; 95% CI 2.2, 81.5) and those who solicited by phone and had sex in a rented room or lodge (OR¿=¿6.3; 95% CI 1.0, 38.0) were more likely to be HIV positive compared to home-based FSWs. Women who both solicited and entertained in public (OR¿=¿6.7; 95% CI 1.6, 28.0) and who solicited in public and entertained in a rented room or lodge (OR¿=¿2.5; 95% CI 1.1, 6.0) were more likely to test positive for an STI compared to home-based FSWs.Conclusion The results indicate that different categories of sex work are associated with different HIV and STI risk profiles. Local contextual understanding of the different types of sex work and the associated levels of risk assist NGOs to target their interventions more effectively and efficiently in order to reduce STI and HIV prevalence among FSWs and their clients.
    BMC Women's Health 11/2014; 14(1):133. DOI:10.1186/s12905-014-0133-6 · 1.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper examines whether truckers have been over-stigmatized as HIV carriers in the country. Data were taken from cross-sectional surveys of clients of female sex workers conducted in 2006- 2007 in 12 districts of the country. A total 4822 clients of female sex workers were covered in the survey. Low-income skilled/semi-skilled men, including non-agricultural/casual labor, and petty businessmen/small shop owners, have the largest share in the clients’ population. There was no significant difference between truckers and other sub-group of clients’ population in terms of consistent condom use with female sex workers and prevalence of HIV or STI. These evidences suggest that the contribution of truckers in HIV epidemic in India might to similar to other sub-groups of clients’ population. Thus, truckers might have been over-stigmatized as HIV carriers in the country. However, there is no doubt that truckers constitute an extremely important target group for the HIV prevention programs and these efforts must be continued to prevent new HIV infections in the country.
    Open Journal of Preventive Medicine 03/2015; DOI:10.4236/ojpm.2015.53010