Study: Preventive Treatment Project Averts 100,000 HIV Cases in India

Posted October 11th, 2011 at 12:35 am (UTC-5)
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A new study published in a British medical journal says a campaign targeting India's most vulnerable communities may have prevented 100,000 HIV infections over a 5-year period.

The program provided preventive treatment – such as safe-sex counseling and clinical services – to high-risk groups in six Indian states that had the highest instances of the human immunodeficiency virus.

The goal of the initiative was to boost prevention among India's sex workers, prostitute clients, injecting drug users, truck drivers and homosexuals – groups that are traditionally at a higher risk of contracting the HIV virus in the country.

The campaign, which ran from 2003-2008, was partially funded by a $258 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

India has one of the world's largest HIV-infected populations. In 2009, it was estimated that 2.4 million Indians were living with the virus.

The initiative was undertaken in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, as well as the two small northeastern states of Manipur and Nagaland.