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Lightbulb 'Every fourth sexually active persons in UP have not heard of HIV-AIDS'


'Every fourth sexually active persons in UP have not heard of HIV-AIDS'


Over 27% men and women in the 15-49 years age group have not even heard about HIV-AIDS. This means that every fourth person in the largely sexually active age group in the state have not heard about.

The fact, noted in the recently released fourth National Family Health Survey report, explains why incidents like the one in Unnao can take place in the state. To recall, over 50 persons belonging to a couple of villages in Unnao's Bangarmau area tested positive to HIV infection in a period of seven months.

While a quack who reportedly administered injection to locals with the same syringe is being blamed for the havoc, theory of the affected persons contracting the infection as a result of unsafe sexual behaviour is not being ruled out.

The report also assessed higher risk sex among men and women of UP. Higher-risk sex refers to sexual intercourse with someone who is neither a spouse nor a cohabiting partner.

Among those who had sex in the past 12 months, only 1% women and 9% men reported having higher-risk sex during the period. The trend was higher in urban than rural areas. A small proportion of respondents said that they had multiple sex partners in past one year (0.3% of women and 3% of men).

Over one-fourth of men (26%) who had higher-risk sex in the past 12 months reported using a condom the last time they had higher-risk sex. One percent of men said they had paid for sex in the past year. Though the numbers are small, 34% men who paid for sexual intercourse in past one year used a condom the last time they paid for sexual intercourse.

The report also showed that only 18% women and 26% men in the state have a comprehensive knowledge about HIV/AIDS. This means that they know that consistent use of condoms during sex and having just one uninfected committed sex partner can reduce the chance of it . But on an overall scale, 52% women and 26% men were not aware of the importance of use of condoms and commitment.

Comprehensive knowledge of HIV-AIDS also entails awareness to the fact that a healthy-looking person can have it and they reject common misconceptions about transmission or prevention of HIV-AIDS. Over 65% women 59% men did not show accepting attitude towards indicators assessing stigma.

The indicators were: 'willing to take care of relative with HIV/AIDS', 'would buy vegetables from an HIV positive vendor', 'believe that an HIV positive but healthy school teacher could take classes' and 'would not keep HIV status of their relative as a secret) assessing stigma towards HIV-AIDS.'


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