AIDS spreading in J&K

In conservative Jammu and Kashmir, the AIDS epidemic is spreading fast with 42 deaths in 2007 and 211 fresh cases detected. "A total of 211 fresh cases were registered in Jammu and Kashmir in 2007, showing a sharp increase in the number of AIDS patients in the state. However, the number of AIDS cases registered in 2006 was just 34,' sources at J&K AIDS Control Society said. Jammu and Kashmir is one of a few states which have registered an increase in the number of AIDS cases. The health officials in Jammu and Kashmir attribute the sudden increase in the number of AIDS cases to the heightened awareness among the people about the disease. Still J&K remains a vulnerable region with regard to drug abuse and spread of H8IV/AIDS. India has over 30 lakh people living with HIV. They face stigma, discrimination and irrational prejudice in their everyday lives. Meanwhile, the total number of HIV infections across the country has shown a decrease. Against the 31,430 cases registered during 2006, the country has reported 20,408 cases this year. The number of deaths due to this epidemic has also shown a slight decrease. In 2006, 1,786 deaths were reported throughout the country while in 2007, the number decreased a little and 1,760 deaths took place due to AIDS.

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