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Year : 1990  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 73-4

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)

Correspondence Address:
A K Chakraborty

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 2102893

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Prostitutes from Madras were found seropositive for HIV infection in 1986, and are the 1st such cases identified in India. A national serosurveillance program and reference centers were subsequently created, finding a total 44 known AIDS cases through March 31, 1990. While this number of cases may seem small in the general context of India's large population size, increasing levels of seropositivity are being detected, and give cause for concern. Where recent studies of seropositivity in IV-drug users have created serious concern, serosurveillance has nonetheless been largely limited to prostitutes, STD patients, pregnant women, blood donors, and contacts of seropositive individuals. Ignorance and stigmatization of seropositive individuals and persons with AIDS persist both in the general public and the medical community. Doctors, nurses, and staff therefore are in special need of proper orientation to treat and counsel such clients. Indian health authorities are overwhelmingly challenged by how to care for AIDS cases, and do not know what to do with those who are seropositive. Hospitals and facilities for supportive treatment will be identified. Seropositive individuals especially need psychological support and counseling. Guidelines for counseling are therefore greatly needed. Those identified as seropositive must also be ensured that their status will remain confidential. Introductory comments are made regarding the seriousness of AIDS as a global pandemic, its initial identification and description, and the various patterns of epidemic spread observed throughout the world.

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