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Male-male proves to be safer for females

For one, the feminist can now have a laugh — homosexual men are increasingly getting infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. Men more vulnerable

delhi Updated: Dec 18, 2011 10:45 IST
Chetan Chauhan

For one, the feminist can now have a laugh — homosexual men are increasingly getting infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome.

And, in the process, women —especially commercial sex workers —who have been bearing the brunt of the deadly disease till now have got some respite.

The latest data analysed by a planning commission committee shows that of the 1.2 lakh new HIV/AIDS cases in 2009, 7.30% are same-sex men and drug-users, while female sex workers account for 4.94%.

In 2000, HIV-infected female sex workers were about 11% of the 2.7 lakh new registrations, while same-sex men accounted for 4.3%. http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/181211/18-12-11-metro1c.jpg

A report of the committee, chaired by Sayan Chatterjee, secretary in the department of AIDS control in the health ministry, said, “This estimate has confirmed the clear decline in HIV prevalence among sex workers.”

But what worries the government is the increased level of the disease among homosexual men and drug-users. The department estimates that there are 25 lakh homosexual males, who fall in the high-risk group.

What’s more, the vulnerability of men has been found to be more in the states that have traditionally recorded low prevalence of the disease, such as Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, UP, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. These now have high levels of HIV among men.

The report, to be submitted to the government for formulating new policy interventions in the 12th five-year plan (2012-2017), says, “Some low-prevalence states have shown increases in the number of new infections over the past two years, that underscores the need to focus more on these states.”