Fighting stigma

Indian women account for 40% of country’s HIV-infected population

Indian women walk past a 100 foot long AIDS red ribbon sand sculpture on the eve of World AIDS Day. (ASIT KUMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Women account for more than 40 percent of HIV-infected people in India, according to new estimates released by the government that show the rate of infection among women remains stubbornly high even as the country tries to rout out the disease by 2030. India saw an overall decline of 66 percent in new HIV cases over the last five years, according to the estimates, but women still make up about two-fifths of infections, according to the report. Women, particularly those in rural areas, are less likely to go out and get tested for HIV because of the stigma attached to the disease, and the the high rate of infection also puts the country’s children at risk. “There is a huge need to ramp up education and awareness about HIV infection among women,” said Nochiketa Mohanty of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

Mohanty added that women of all social classes need to be empowered to make smarter choices in their sexual partners as well.

Read the full story at The Times of India.

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