South Asia Monitor: HIV/AIDS Lessons from India - March 3, 2004
March 3, 2004
Eighteen years after the first AIDS patient was diagnosed in the country, India has entered a critical period in its fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic. A CSIS HIV/AIDS Task Force delegation to India in January 2004 concluded that although India does not have the high prevalence rates that have devastated some African countries, the country's epidemic has started to affect large parts of the general population in many parts of the country. With 1 billion people, a weak public health infrastructure, high mobility both within the country and increasingly around the world, and a complex social structure, India's response to this looming "breakout"—a stage when the infection is no longer confined to the high-risk populations and breaks out into the general population—will hold lessons not only for other "second wave" countries grappling with the HIV virus, but also its neighbors in South Asia, who share similar socioeconomic characteristics.