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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 83 Table of Contents   

Seroprevalence of HIV among intravenous drug users in Amritsar: Risk factors and risk behavior


Department of Microbiology, Govt. Medical College, Amritsar, India

Date of Web Publication5-Feb-2010

Correspondence Address:
Usha Arora
Department of Microbiology, Govt. Medical College, Amritsar
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-2727.59707

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How to cite this article:
Arora U. Seroprevalence of HIV among intravenous drug users in Amritsar: Risk factors and risk behavior. J Lab Physicians 2009;1:83

How to cite this URL:
Arora U. Seroprevalence of HIV among intravenous drug users in Amritsar: Risk factors and risk behavior. J Lab Physicians [serial online] 2009 [cited 2018 Sep 19];1:83. Available from: http://www.jlponline.org/text.asp?2009/1/2/83/59707

Sir,

One of the major factors behind the spread of HIV in the country is injecting drug use (IDU). HIV infection among IDUs in this part of the country is alarmingly high and second only to north-eastern parts of India. HIV prevalence rate in more than 13% persons has been reported in Punjab and Chandigarh as per the 2006 data from NACO. [1] Therefore, we carried out this study to determine the seroprevalence rate of HIV in persons referred to the Department of Microbiology at Amritsar, Punjab between January 2006 and December 2007. This included 715 IDUs, attending ICT Clinic. Of these 712 were males and only 3 were females. They were tested for HIV-I and HIV-2 antibodies according to NACO guidelines. Out of 715 patients, 621 were in the age group of 21-50 years and most of them were married, which is in accordance with the study of Singh et al. [2] The serology results showed that a total of 314 (43.90%) were reactive for HIV-I antibodies. The incidence in the present study is higher than earlier reported incidence in 1997 (7.5%) [3] and 2005 (9.6%) [4] from the same center. Since 86.15% of the clients were unskilled persons, this can explain the high incidence. Also 14.8% were mobile persons, which is another known risk factor. Our 52.29% clients gave history of needle sharing, while 27.57% persons admitted to have multiple sex partners (MSP), an another behavioral risk factor. [5] Since Amritsar being the border city and is the seat of international drug trafficking providing home to a large number of young people prone to drug addiction, it is feared that this region might face sharp rise in HIV prevalence in the near future. Hence, urgent targeted interventions are required.

 
   References Top

1.Ambekar A, Tripathi BM. For SPYM size estimation of injecting drug use in Punjab and Haryana under the pear led intervention. UNAIDS. Publication New Delhi, 2008:6-7.  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Singh YN, Joshi R, Rustogi G. Truck drivers their possible role in dissemination of HIV to rural India. Abstract book 2 nd International conference of AIDS in Asia Pacific 1992;626:191.  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.Mohan U, Jindal N, Kaur M. Prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus among intravenous users in Amritsar. J Med Microbiol 1998;16:105-7.  Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Tiwari R, Aggarwal A, Devi P. Seroprevalence of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency viruses amongst drug users in Amritsar. Indian J Med Microbiol 2006;24:151-2.  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
5.Sarkar S, Das N, Panda S, Naik TN, Sarkar K, Singh BC, et al. Rapid spread of HIV among injecting drug users in north-eastern states of India. Bull Narc 1993;45:91.  Back to cited text no. 5      



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