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Delhi's nearly 40% population at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS
  New Delhi | January 08, 2006 12:35:01 PM IST
Even as Delhi's rapidly growing population becomes a cause of serious concern, nearly 40 per cent of its people are at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.
According to a Delhi State AIDS Control Society report Delhi's population, nearly half of which is due to migration, presents a unique challenge in the struggle against HIV/AIDS.
''The slum population, 40 per cent of the total, poses a special problem.... The slum population, characterised by low levels of literacy, poor health conditions, poverty, and low status of women, offered HIV many opportunities to spread,''the society said in its report 'HIV/AIDS in Delhi-Meeting the Challenge'.
The migratory population, nine lakh and growing, often arrived in the city with little or no HIV knowledge also added to the risk factor, it said.
''Since Delhi is a major crossroad in India it has become an important hub for trucks and transportation,'' it added.
With an estimated 0.3 per cent of adults in the national capital infected with HIV till 2004, the growing number of of HIV/AIDS cases in the city was an issue of worry, the report said.
Delhi was also concerned with a large suburban population, which moved in and out daily, but resided in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
In Delhi, as in many parts of the country, sexual contact was the most common way by which HIV infection spread -- beginning in 'high-risk behaviour' population and then spreading to low-risk behaviour population.
''There are indications that this is now taking place in Delhi, threatening a generalised epidemic,'' it warned.
In 1993, there were 45 reported cases in the national capital which had jumped to 945 by 2004 even as the disease went largely unreported.
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