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Unsafe Sex, HIV Infected Transfusion Spreading AIDS in Madhya Pradesh

s of the state have been affected by HIV and now the dreaded disease has started gripping the rural areas," says a health department survey.

"More disturbing is that HIV/AIDS is now engulfing the 'productive population' in the age group of 20-40 years. With the exposure teens and youth are getting through television, they have started experiencing sex at an early age, further aggravating the problem," say a Madhya Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (MPSACS) official.

Western Madhya Pradesh, specially 14 districts of the Malwa and the Nimar regions touching commercial areas of Maharashtra and Gujarat, are in fact highly susceptible to AIDS. Of the 1,933 known cases of AIDS in the state, about 70 percent (1,380) have been reported from these districts.

"The findings also suggest a rise in AIDS/HIV among marketing and sales people and those indulging in casual sex and extramarital affairs," says Madhya Pradesh Voluntary Health Association (MPVHA) executive director Mukesh Kumar Sinha. "We have to change the guidelines given by NACO that lay emphasis on high risk groups like commercial sex workers, drug addicts, street children, truck drivers and transporters."

Not many have knowledge about the disease that they still equate with leprosy or the "curse of Kamdev" (God of love).

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