AIDS crisis in India21st July 2006
A new report says that India's economy could suffer if the country fails to check the spread of HIV and Aids. If the disease is not contained economic growth currently at 8% could fall by nearly 1%. The government's prevention drive could help reverse this, said the head of India's main anti-Aids agency.
The UN says India now has more people with the virus than any other country in the world; more than five million Indians are infected with HIV in the country.
The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) said that the government needed to spend more on prevention programmes. Unskilled labourers in industries such as construction, chemicals, mining and quarrying are identified in the report as the most vulnerable to infection.
But Aids prevention organisations in India say that an aggressive campaign against the disease could head off the threat. Sujata Rao, director of India's National Aids Control Organisation said "We have already found that in high-risk states, the growth of HIV infections can be reversed with the government pushing an aggressive campaign against the spread of the disease".
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