HIV Cases Declining Among Military Personnel in India, Defense Ministry Says
The Indian Ministry of Defence on Monday announced that the number of HIV cases among military personnel in the country is declining, ANI/Daily India reports. Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the country's Parliament that there were 377 HIV cases recorded among military personnel in 2006 -- about 0.28% of the military -- compared with 501 cases in 2001. Some reports estimate the number of HIV-positive people in the country's military is as high as 4,000, ANI/Daily India reports.
According to an internal analysis, 81% of military personnel who are HIV-positive are in the army, compared with 2% and 10% in the air force and navy, respectively, ANI/Daily India reports (ANI/Daily India, 9/10). According to Antony, the ministry is implementing programs to monitor personnel at high risk of contracting HIV, including those reporting to or returning from U.N. peacekeeping missions, those with sexually transmitted infections and blood donors. In addition, the Armed Forces Medical Services in coordination with the National AIDS Control Organization and UNAIDS has launched a program aimed at preventing and controlling HIV among military personnel, PTI/The Hindu reports (PTI/The Hindu, 9/10). The ministry also has increased efforts to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among military personnel and their families, ANI/Daily India reports (ANI/Daily India, 9/10).