Stigma, Discrimination Impede Efforts To Control Spread of HIV in India, U.N. Envoy Says
Stigma and discrimination pose major barriers to controlling the spread of HIV in India, Nafis Sadik, U.N. special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, said recently during a visit to the country, the IANS/Gulf Times reports. "There is acceptance of the problem at the highest level, although lots needs to be done to make it (the disease) acceptable in the society, which is still in a denial mode," Sadik said, adding, "We need to step up the level of awareness about HIV/AIDS and make sure we are able to deal with it more like a public health issue." Sadik was speaking during a two-day visit to the northeastern state of Assam to assess the HIV/AIDS situation there. India's northeast region is considered one of the country's high-risk zones for HIV/AIDS, with almost 100,000 HIV-positive people living there, according to the IANS/Gulf Times. Sadik urged Indian states to be "more vigilant" in monitoring the spread of HIV among migrant workers (IANS/Gulf Times, 9/27).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.