22 July 2010
City Anchor The Number Of HIV Cases Among Men Who Have Sex With Men Increased From 1.36 Per Cent In 2004 to 4.8 Per cent in 2006
THE PREVALENCE of HIV cases among high-risk groups in Chandigarh slums, especially among injecting drug users (IDUs), is very high — from 4.8 per cent in 2004 to 17.60 per cent in 2006.
This was stated in the book Chandigarh Slums: Issues of Poverty and Human Rights written by Dr Bindu Duggal, a researcher at Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), who has conducted a study of slums
in the city. UT Administrator and Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil released the book today.
According to the study, the percentage of HIV positive cases in slums has been increasing at an alarming rate over the last few years. It says the prevalence of HIV cases among MSM (men who have sex with men) in the slums increased from 1.36 per cent in 2004 to 4.80 per cent in 2006. The prevalence of HIV cases among female sex workers, meanwhile, has increased from 0.40 per cent to 1.60 per cent during the same span of time. It was also observed that most of IDUs were males. Therefore they carry the risk of transmitting HIV to their female partners.
Majority of the drug users are youth between the age group of 15 and 25 years. Children in the slums are also becoming drug addicts due to the easy availability of drugs.
It further states that 52.5 per cent of the population living in slums is suffering from more than one ailment. Skin problems formed 29 per cent of the reported cases of illness. The prevalence of tuberculosis is 15.22 per cent. The other diseases include blood pressure, diarrhoea, pneumonia, blood pressure and so on.
Among the most vulnerable section were women and children. For treatment majority of the population in slums either consulted quacks or resorted to home-based remedies.
The number of slum–dwellers in the city have increased over the years. From 8,003 in 1974 to 9,488 in 1980, the slum dwellers in the city in 2006 according to figures of the UT Administration were 23, 841. In the last four years, the numbers have exceeded this figure.
Slums mushroomed in the city because of the policy failures.
One of the major drawbacks was the lack of provision of housing for poor migrants in the master plan of Chandigarh. Efforts at rehabilitation were piecemeal and ad hoc. Partial rehabilitation of slum–dwellers resulted in multiplying those left behind. There have been instances of allottees selling houses given under the rehabilitation scheme and return
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