Combating the Enemy within: A model for HIV Prevention among men-in-uniform

19 Sep 2011


The document highlights the objectives, achievements and challenges of project Prahari, conceived as an action plan for sustained HIV/AIDS prevention and care among the Border Security Force personnel, their families and the local communities.

Combating HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) effectively and on a sustained basis is an issue of global concern. The problem is, many people who are exposed to the risks of acquiring HIV are ignorant of them. For its prevention, therefore, building up awareness through education, communication and counselling, providing access to services, promoting safer behaviour and mainstreaming these in everyday life are most urgently needed.

In India, the AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) epidemic poses a serious public health concern. With the first AIDS case detected in 1986, over 5.2 million people were estimated to be infected with HIV in India at the end of year 2006. The HIV infection rate among the adult population between 15-49 years of age is estimated to be 0.7 per cent. India’s large population and tremendous cultural, geographical and economic diversity (over one-sixth of the world population), make public health care a complex task. The following estimates (in millions) show the rising trend of HIV infection in the country.

Estimates for HIV infections in the year 2010 range from a modest 15 million to a staggering 25 million.

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