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Homosexuality, drug abuse increasing HIV in India: study

who injected drugs, 12 percent were HIV positive, 80 percent of who had recently (in the past three months) paid for sex and 27 percent of whom had themselves sold sex.

"Harm reduction programmes need to be extended and expanded as a matter of urgency in those parts of India with serious drug injecting-related HIV epidemics. Failing that, there is a possibility that the combination of injecting drug use and paid sex could lead to larger HIV epidemics," the global report warns.

As of 2006, several needle exchange programmes are operating in the northeast region, West Bengal and Delhi. However, only one project using substitution therapy has been started in the state of Manipur.

Taking a critical view of the interventions in India, the report states, "Currently, interventions among injecting drug users tend to be inconsistent, and too small and infrequent to yield demonstrable results."

The global report underlines that the extent and effectiveness of India's efforts to increase safe sex practices between sex workers and their clients, and between men who have sex with men (and their other sex partners) will likely determine the scale and development of India's HIV epidemic.

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