Indian Journal of Public Health

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year
: 2010  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 45-

Seropositivity of HIV infection among armed forces attending integrated testing and counseling centre in a tertiary care hospital


Usha Arora1, Shashi Chopra2,  
1 Professor and Head, Department of Microbiology,Govt. Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India
2 Senior Lecturer; Department of Microbiology,Govt. Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Shashi Chopra
Senior Lecturer; Department of Microbiology,Govt. Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab
India




How to cite this article:
Arora U, Chopra S. Seropositivity of HIV infection among armed forces attending integrated testing and counseling centre in a tertiary care hospital.Indian J Public Health 2010;54:45-45


How to cite this URL:
Arora U, Chopra S. Seropositivity of HIV infection among armed forces attending integrated testing and counseling centre in a tertiary care hospital. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2010 [cited 2019 Sep 22 ];54:45-45
Available from: http://www.ijph.in/text.asp?2010/54/1/45/70554


Full Text

Sir,

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the most disastrous disease for the forces as many of them are engaged in high-risk behavior for HIV infection because of many factors. To monitor the prevalence of HIV infection in them, we report 405 persons of all the forces (Punjab police-288, BSF-106, Army-11) from January 2007 to December 2008, who attended Integrated Counseling and Testing Centre of Government Medical College, Amritsar. Forty (9.9%) persons were referred with a suspicion of HIV infection because of the presence of HIV indicator diseases and 365 (90.1%) were directly walk- in persons. Out of these 45(11.1%) persons were found to be positive for HIV-I antibodies. This shows that HIV infection amongst this group has increased significantly (P<0.001) as prevalence of 3.9% was observed in 2006 in same institution [1] . Considering reactivity in individual forces 5.9% (17/288) were Punjab police personnel's, 24.5% (26/106) were BSF personnel's and 18.2% (02/11) were Army personnel's and by gender, 33% (1/3) females (all police personnel's) and 10.9% (44/402) males were seroreactive. The rate was significantly higher among women (P<0.001). This might be because of the reason that women are particularly vulnerable to heterosexual transmission of HIV due to substantial mucosal exposure to seminal fluid [2] . All the 45 seroreactive persons were in the sexually active age of 20-50 years. Defense persons are highly mobile population, which results in long absences from their families. This drives them to seek commercial and casual sex. Forty one (91.1%) persons acquired infection through heterosexual route and 4 (8.9%) persons acquired infection through contaminated blood or syringe where as it is reported to be 85% and 4% by National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) [3] respectively. A study conducted under NACO reported that the central police and paramilitary forces were not properly equipped to handle the serious problem of HIV/AIDS and interventions were ad hoc, uncoordinated and attitude towards HIV positive personnel was quite discriminating. So character building and mass screening of the forces should be a routine. Health education camps should be regularly held to save them from this dreaded disease.

References

1Jindal N, Arora U. HIV/AIDS and forces. Indian J Community Med 2009;34:164.
2HIV infection in women. NIAID Fact Sheet May 2006. p. 1-9.
3Govt. of India. Monthly updates on AIDS, NACO, Aug 31, 2006.