Drug Abuse, HIV/AIDS Increasing in Northeast India, U.N. Official Says
Recent surveys indicate that drug abuse and the spread of HIV/AIDS are increasing in India's northeast region, Gary Lewis, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime representative, said recently, UNI/WebIndia123.com reports. According to UNI/WebIndia123.com, the issues of drug use and HIV/AIDS in the northeast region have reached "terrifying dimensions," with the Indian states of Nagaland and Manipur showing strong links between injection drug use and HIV transmission.
The region's literacy rate, as well as its HIV/AIDS and drug use awareness levels, are more than 90%, UNI/WebIndia123.com reports. However, the northeast is experiencing a rising trend in HIV/AIDS cases, Lewis said, adding that although sexual transmission accounts for most cases of HIV, injection drug use also is a major route. The region also has a high unemployment rate of 59.3%, compared with 19.7% nationwide. In response to the identification of the northeast as a high risk area, UNODC has begun to focus more on the region and held a media sensitization workshop in Guwahati on Tuesday, UNI/WebIndia123.com reports (UNI/WebIndia123.com, 1/23).