icon-folder.gif   Conference Reports for NATAP  
  9th European AIDS Conference (EACS)
Warsaw, Poland
Oct 25-29, 2003
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Prevalence of HIV and Hepatitis B and C Among Drug Addicts in the Holy City of Amritsar, India
  Reported by Jules Levin
There is not much data emanating from India on the prevalence of hepatitis. This Late Breaker was presented at the 9th EACS in Warasw, Poland (October 2003), Amristar is a holy city situated on the Indo Pak border. The area does not have a specified red light district but international drug trafficking definitely existe here. The study was conducted to find out the menace of drug addiction causing HIV and other concomitant viral infections like hepatitis B and C.
250 drug users attending drug deaddiction center in Amritsar during the year 2002 were put to test for this. HIV was tested by ELISA/Rapid/Simple and hepatitits B and C by ELISA. Majority of addicts were malr (99%) of productive age group (21-25 yrs) belonging to poor socio economic strata of society.
9.6% (24) were found to be HIV+. 23.6% (59)were HBV+ and 14.8% (37) were HCV+. HBV and HIV were present in 0.8%, and HBV and HCV in 5.2%, and HCV plus HIV in 2.8%. Mixed infection of HIV/HBV/HCV were found in 2 cases.
Sexual route of transmission of HIV remains the number one cause that the importance of drug addiction cannot be overlooked. Hence there is an urgent need to bring drug trafficking to a halt otherwise there is a potential danger of HIV spreading in the border towns of any two countries. Better attention in the form of surveillance and prevention oriented health education measures in the region are the order of the day.
Professor Aruna Aggarwal, Govt Medical College, Amitsar, 599 Basant Avenue, Amritsar, Punjab, India, 143001 Amritsar, India. phone: 91-183-2220090