AIDS threatens students

Published: Friday 15 October 1999

aids is on the increase among students living in Mumbai, especially in Navi Mumbai area. Experts and doctors say the incidence of aids has risen to alarming levels in recent times. At the Mahatma Gandhi Mission (mgm) Hospital, the city's only aids centre, 761 new cases of hiv were reported in 1998. Of these, about five per cent were students. In contrast, in 1993 only three of the 63 patients detected were students.

" The unchecked proliferation of medical and engineering colleges in the township have encouraged the spread of the disease, explains Vineeta Chitale, senior project coordinator, Centre for aids Research, Action and Training, Tata Institute of Social Sciences. "Students usually come to the dispensary with symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases. Often these are symptoms of hiv," says a general practitioner in the region. Unfortunately, there is no systematic surveillance of the disease in the Navi Mumbai area.

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