Press Trust of India Examines HIV/AIDS Among Indian Populations Living in Mauritius
The Press Trust of India on Tuesday examined HIV/AIDS among Indian populations on the island of Mauritius. According to Audrey dHotman de Villiers, an advocate working with an HIV/AIDS prevention group in Mauritius, Hindu leaders have not been vocal in the community or taken responsibility to fight HIV/AIDS, despite signs of increased drug use and risky sexual behavior. De Villiers said her organization believes that "sufficient work was done" by the end of last year for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention on the island, except among Indian populations, particularly in rural areas.
UNAIDS estimates that about 14,000 people are living with HIV in Mauritius, but the country has recorded only 3,417 cases of the virus since 1987. According to the Press Trust of India, there are no data available about HIV/AIDS among specific ethnic groups, and de Villiers said that health authorities on the island are hesitant to release such information. She added that about 89% of HIV cases are the result of injection drug use and that 25% of drug users who access rehabilitation services are Hindu. According to de Villiers, there also are few HIV/AIDS statistics for rural areas of Mauritius, which have large Indian populations, because of a lack of sustained HIV testing campaigns (Meherally, Press Trust of India, 9/2).