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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, December 02, 2012
Although Maharashtra still features among the top five states with high HIV prevalence among high-risk groups, the latest HIV sentinel surveillance report (2010-11) shows a considerable drop in HIV prevalence among men having sex with men (MSM), Female Sex Workers (FSW) and Intravenous Drug Users.

A total of 26 sites were selected in the state to study the trend of HIV prevalence in these groups.

The report shows a significant drop in HIV prevalence especially in FSW and IDU. The FSW has reported a drop from 10.82% in 2008-09 to 6.09% in 2010-11. However, Maharashtra has reported the highest HIV prevalence among FSWs in India.

"Unlike in urban areas where the brothels are identified, rural areas have a large population of hidden sex workers or home based sex workers who are difficult to identify, making HIV reduction difficult," said Awsharan Kaur, joint director, target intervention, Maharashtra State Aids Control Society (MSACS).

Meanwhile, there is marginal decline in HIV prevalence among MSM groups.