Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

HIV infection rates down one-third in south India

30.03.2006


Data shows condom use and awareness programs are helping to slow infection rates



A University of Toronto Indo-Canadian study reports a remarkable one-third decline in new HIV infections in the worst hit regions of India, indicating that with condom use and awareness programs, the country’s AIDS epidemic is far from hopeless.

The study, which appears online in the Lancet’s March 30 issue, tracked HIV prevalence among young women attending pregnancy or antenatal clinics in India’s southern and northern states. Researchers used HIV trends among young women attending antenatal clinics as a proxy to monitor trends in new infections among the general population. Male use of female sex workers is the main reason for the spread, which subsequently puts wives in a vulnerable position. In recent years, the Indian government, the World Bank and other external agencies have aimed intervention and awareness programs at the sex industry and their efforts appear to have contributed to a drastic decline.


"There have been many predictions, mostly based on guesswork, that India’s AIDS problem will explode -- as it did in southern Africa -- but we now have direct evidence of something positive," says the study’s co-author, Professor Prabhat Jha of U of T’s Department of Public Health Sciences. "The good news is that HIV in young adults appears to be declining in the south -- most likely or perhaps only due to males using sex workers less or using condoms more often when they do. The not-so-good news is that trends in the north remain uncertain and poorly studied."

More than five million people are living with HIV in India, 75 per cent of them in the southern states. Researchers studied HIV prevalence data from 294,050 women attending 216 antenatal clinics and 58,790 men attending 132 sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics in the north and south from 2000 to 2004. Lead author Professor Rajesh Kumar at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India, says, "The declines in young women in the south are broad based -- for example, among urban and rural women and among educated or illiterate women. Moreover, declines in the south are seen also among young men who visit STI clinics and these men represent those who are likely to use sex workers. It all fits."

The study examined alternative explanations but changes in testing or in deaths from AIDS don’t appear to explain the decline. "The first question we ask as scientists is if our findings are real and it appears they are," adds Jha, who is also the director of U of T’s Centre for Global Health Research and a Canada Research Chair in health and development.

Paul Arora, a research fellow at the Centre for Global Health Research, says, "A key implication of the study is the need to scale up highly effective prevention efforts in the north, especially in hot-spot urban and rural districts -- not just for female sex workers but also for men having sex with men."

Kumar cautions that while the findings are good news, the battle is far from over. "HIV remains a huge problem in India and we have to remain vigilant," he says. "We’re not saying the epidemic is under control yet -- we are saying that prevention efforts with high-risk groups thus far seem to be having an effect."

The study -- the world’s largest examination yet of antenatal clinic attendees --also recommends that enhancing routine surveillance, including more questions on risk factors, pregnancy history, husband’s history and additional STI testing via antenatal clinics and other sites, is a powerful and cost-effective way to monitor the growth of India’s large and heterogeneous HIV epidemic.

"Understanding the correlation between peer-based education programs and HIV rates will contribute to this worldwide effort to reduce the incidence of HIV," says Alan Bernstein, president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, which is among the study’s funders.

Elizabeth Monier-Williams | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>