New York Times Examines India’s Interstate System as ‘Conduit’ for HIV Transmission
The New York Times on Tuesday examined India's national highway system as a "conduit" for HIV -- which is transmitted between commercial sex workers and the truck drivers, migrant workers, college students and others who pay them -- and then "brought home" to "unsuspecting wives in towns or villages." According to the Times, to drive in India "is to peel back a nation's secret, or not so secret, sex life, and the potent mix of desire, denial and stigma that is helping spread the disease." The highways also highlight the difficulties faced when trying to reach the country's "multiplicity of high-risk groups": injection drug users in northeastern states; poor, lower-caste women who have become commercial sex workers in the south; truck drivers not affiliated with a company; and migrant workers who commute between their villages and urban jobs, the Times reports. Many of the groups are "deeply fragmented and in perpetual motion, making them difficult for educators to reach," so HIV/AIDS advocacy groups feel that outreach on the highway is the most effective way to target these high-risk groups, the New York Times reports (Waldman, Times, 12/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.