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Hiv/Aids In India:An Epidemic Essay

1973 words - 8 pages

What may be seen as a result of a surplus of labor by an economist, has ultimately led to an epidemic. India's population, estimated to be 1.35 billion, suffers extensive poverty as more than thirty seven percent of its population lives below the poverty line. (Economy Watch) This surplus of labor has driven the price of labor in India to incredibly low amounts, hence the outsourcing which has become rampant. Low labor prices compounded with exclusion due to the caste system and high dependency on agriculture all have amplified the poverty which in turn, has given rise to the largest population—2.3 million--within the borders of a nation to be infected with HIV/AIDS. (India HIV and AIDS Statistics.)

Though those who are infected represent less the one percent of the total population, the environmental conditions of the society by which India presides are conducive to the rapid spread of this problem. More importantly, of those that are infected, thirty nine percent are women which increases the probability of parent-to-child transmission of this STI(Sexually Transmitted Infection). While an entire forty percent of the HIV bearing population is constituted by women, only a fraction of a percentage point of those women who choose to get screened test positive for the infection indicating a major problem—those who have it, are unaware or choose not be screened*. Close to eighty five percent of the transfers are through sexual transmission, five percent through parent-to-child transmission and the remainder through injecting drug use. As observed, red-light districts in India have given obvious rises and have some of the highest incidence of AIDS (fifty percent in Mumbai and Pune), but the other regions of the country do not remain untouched. In fact, this epidemic is more pronounced in urban areas than rural areas throughout India wherein HIV has made major inroads in the slums and had bolstered in certain areas (such as the northeast) due to injecting drug use. In recent years, India has seen some improvement in certain regions in terms of prevalence. As a whole, India has placed itself on the same trajectory as Africa. But this problem cannot be attributed to just one cause. India’s unique culture, environmental/economical conditions, and standard of living have all had significant implication on this problem. (HIV/AIDS)

Poverty. This condition in the country gives rise to sex workers due to inability to find work in an extremely competitive agricultural market and lack of sufficient funds to survive. Suppressed by a need to raise sufficient funds for themselves, women in India engage in sexual activities which have given rise to several red-light districts. Giving structure to such a common method of sexual interaction, the prostitution business has fostered the growth of the infection HIV within the country. If it is not apparent enough, in the cities of Mumbai and Pune, incidence of the infection has risen to fifty percent as a...

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