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Limited knowledge causing spread of AIDS in NE
Published on 6 Mar. 2009 12:44 AM IST
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The rapid spread of HIV/AIDS in North-East and the limited or insufficient knowledge about the disease are posing grave dangers to the region, with several NE states already in the HIV/AIDS high prevalent category. Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram are high prevalent states in the HIV infection mapping, with Assam, which is contiguous to these states, also at great vulnerability, Kripa Foundation member Rabiul Islam pointed out here on Thursday. The infection has spread from injected drug users, which was the major source, in the three high prevalent states and the virus threatened to infect a larger section, he noted with concern. A sample survey on the extent of knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices of the urban poor of the emerging city of Guwahati, the 'gateway to NE', towards the growing threat of HIV/AIDS, carried out by the Foundation, has exposed glaring gaps in the level of information, Islam said. Informing about the findings of the survey, Islam said 35 per cent of the sample population was at high risk behaviour of contracting the virus, with low perceived personal vulnerability and low perceived severity of the disease biggest challenges in tackling the situation. “More alarmingly, 34.30 per cent do not consider HIV/AIDS to be an issue of concern for India,” Islam said, quoting the survey.

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