San Francisco Chronicle Begins Five-Part Series Examining AIDS in India
Ahead of the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, next week, when "[w]orld attention will focus on the threat AIDS poses to Asia," the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday began a five-part series on AIDS in India. Experts believe that the "key" to HIV/AIDS trends in Asia lie with India, the most populous nation in the world, according to the Chronicle. Summaries of some of the articles in the series, which ends on Thursday, appear below:
- "South Asia's Smoldering Threat": Although most HIV/AIDS patients in India are men, experts believe this trend will shift to women, who "hold a distinctly second-class status in the cultural hierarchy of India" but who also hold leadership positions, the Chronicle reports. The article examines how women in India could become disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS if the disease takes a course similar to that of Africa (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/4).
- "The Role of Prostitution in South Asia's Epidemic; Push for Safe Sex in Red-Light Districts": Sex work in Mumbai, India's largest city, poses a "troubling" problem for people involved in HIV/AIDS prevention, the Chronicle reports. India's "red-light districts ... have been engines driving the growth of the epidemic throughout" the country, according to the Chronicle. In 2002, 54% of sex workers in Mumbai tested HIV-positive. The article examines how sex workers are learning to turn down customers who refuse to use condoms (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/5).
- "Spreading the Message of Prevention, Outreach Workers Hit the Road To Keep Truckers Protected": Many of India's five million truck drivers are on the road away from their homes for one week to three months at a time, and a typical trucker has three to five sex partners each week, according to a survey by the AIDS Prevention and Control Project, the Chronicle reports. The article profiles efforts to educate truckers and their sex partners about HIV prevention (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/6).
- The fourth article in the series will examine how Indians living with HIV/AIDS gain access to the drugs they need. AIDS spending in India is 11 cents per capita, therefore "luck plays a large role" in determining who gets the medications, the Chronicle reports.
- The last article will examine how the "decisions made by the new government just taking office in New Delhi will largely determine the future course of the AIDS epidemic in India," the Chronicle reports.
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