AIDS Denial Leading to Crisis in India
July 4, 2004
By 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
New Delhi—Shocking new statistics
showing the number of HIV/AIDS cases in India has risen above 5 million are
leading to accusations the government is dragging its feet in combating the
spread of AIDS in the subcontinent.
The new numbers put India just slightly below South
Africa, the country with the highest number of HIV/AIDS cases in the world.
Even though the statistics indicate there were 520,000
new cases in 2003 the numbers were lower than in the preceding year.
Nevertheless, the number of people being treated for full blown AIDS is rising
the state-run National AIDS Control Organization said Sunday.
While the government maintains the drop in new infections
in 2003 is proof that its anti-AIDS approach is working AIDS activists accuse
the Indian government of complacency.
Last year for the first time the government launched a
massive anti-AIDS campaign, but little information is reaching the country’s
millions of poor.
The government is stressing the need for condoms, but few
are distributed, and even then they go to more affluent areas.
Activists also accuse the government of refusing to
acknowledge the need for a frank open discussion of gay sex. Homosexual acts
remain illegal in India and most gays are underground.
Last week the World Bank accused India and other South
Asian nations of sweeping their HIV/AIDS problems under the carpet warning
that the region would be devastated by an African-like crisis unless swift
action is taken.
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