Bangladesh detects 1,207 people as HIV positive | world | Hindustan Times
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Bangladesh detects 1,207 people as HIV positive

world Updated: Oct 20, 2008 14:23 IST

A total of 1,207 people have been found across the country carrying HIV virus, while 12,000 others are believed to be infected with the deadly disease, according to a government study.

The seventh round of the government's HIV surveillance study, released on Sunday at an AIDS seminar, found that rate of HIV positive among Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) in Dhaka city is seven per cent, which experts called as "very alarming".

The seminar feared despite being a low prevalence country, Bangladesh could be a fertile ground for rapid spread of HIV/AIDS epidemic with all required factors remaining present in the South Asian country.

"All sorts of high risk behaviour such as sharing of needles and syringes, resorting to drug use through injection, multiple sex partners and having commercial sex are prevalent among IDUs and make them the most vulnerable to spread infection," HIV expert Dr Yasmin Jahan said.

The experts called intensifying a campaign for addressing the IDU groups saying HIV turned into a concentrated epidemic among them as the study showed that around 20,000 to 40,000 people across the country are IDUs and of them, 7, 400 are living in the capital Dhaka.

Experts said HIV in Bangladesh remains at a relatively low level, but its prevalence among IDUs continues to grow.

Bangladesh earlier was identified as one of the five countries in the Asia-Pacific region where HIV/AIDS infections are rising with campaigners attributing it on human trafficking into prostitution, stigmatisation of those infected, conservative social attitudes and intravenous drug use.

According to a UNAIDS study, some 10 million youths from 15 to 24 years of age are HIV positive across the globe and every day 6,000 youths are infected with the virus.