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Men more aware about HIV/AIDS, yet more affected

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Men are more likely than women to have comprehensive knowledge about HIV/AIDS; yet the disease is more prevalent among men, an analysis of government data shows.

The National Family Health Survey 2015-16 (NFHS-4) takes comprehensive knowledge to mean knowledge regarding consistent use of a condom during every sexual intercourse. Nationwide, 21 per cent of women and 32 per cent of men have comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS, the survey showed.

Among other conclusions, the survey emphasised that mutually-exclusive relations with one partner can reduce one’s chances of getting HIV/AIDS; a healthy-looking person can have HIV/AIDS, so using a condom is a must for every sexual encounter; and Indians must reject common misconceptions about transmission or prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Some such misconceptions include: Sharing food, cutlery, and clothes spreads AIDS; both partners have HIV, so no protection is needed; and you cannot have sex with an infected person without acquiring HIV/AIDS.

In 31 of the 35 states and Union territories (UTs) surveyed, more men display comprehensive knowledge about HIV/AIDS than women. Only in Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Puducherry and Daman and Diu was there greater awareness among women.

About 49 per cent of women in Punjab have comprehensive knowledge about HIV/AIDS, the highest among all states. The lowest figures are 9.3 per cent in Dadra and Nagar Haveli and 9.4 per cent in Assam.

Despite higher levels of awareness, men are more affected than women — both in absolute numbers and proportionally. Of the 2.1 million HIV/AIDS affected people across India, 1.26 million (60 per cent) are men, according to National AIDS Control Organisation’s (NACO) India HIV Estimations Report 2015.

The HIV prevalence rate among adults nationwide is 0.26 per cent — 0.30 per cent for men and 0.22 per cent for women. This puts the number of HIV cases in India behind only those in South Africa and Nigeria. Yet 56 per cent of infected Indians do not get the drugs they need.

However, the trend between the sexes seems to be reversing — infections among men declined three per cent from 1.29 million in 2012 to 1.26 million in 2015, while infections among women rose 1.38 per cent from 0.84 million to 0.85 million over the same period.

Infection rates have been on the increase among women and infants in some states, especially in rural areas, for a while. One possible explanation of this rise is migration. There are an estimated 7.2 million migrant workers in India, of whom 0.99 per cent has HIV, according to a NACO estimate. Three in four women testing positive have a husband who is a migrant labourer, according to a 2014 report by UNAIDS India.

This trend may worsen with faster migration — 2016 reported faster rural-to-urban migration due to a collapse in rural jobs.

Barring Daman and Diu, across 35 states and UTs, more men than women are aware that consistent condom use can reduce the chances of getting HIV/AIDS. Yet, over the eight years to 2016, the use of contraceptives has declined almost 35 per cent, as abortions and consumption of emergency pills — both accompanied with health hazards and medical side-effects — doubled.

Social awkwardness, often induced by lack of privacy in stores, hinders condom use, a 2011 study among unmarried men from rural Madhya Pradesh showed.

A perceived link between masculinity and risky sexual behaviour also impacts condom use. Socially constructed masculinist ideals of “sexual conquest”, experimentation and entitlement are major contributing factors to risky sexual behaviours which include unprotected sex and sex with multiple partners, according to a 2005 study conducted in Uttar Pradesh by University of North Carolina researchers.

However, the category “men” is heterogeneous — it includes heterosexual and homosexual men, as well as men who have sex with men (MSM, regardless of whether they identify themselves as male or female). There are 0.43 million MSM in India, and 4.3% of them are living with HIV, according to NACO’s 2015-16 annual report.

MSM, truck drivers, sex workers and injecting drug users are classified as vulnerable groups in India, although HIV/AIDS prevalence in these groups has declined over the past few years, thanks to longstanding targeted interventions focusing on behaviour change and increased condom use.

HIV prevalence rate highest in Manipur, but Andhra Pradesh reports maximum cases

At 1.15 per cent, Manipur has the highest estimated adult HIV prevalence rate, followed by Mizoram (0.8 per cent) and Nagaland (0.78 per cent). However, in absolute terms, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have the maximum number of cases (0.39 million) of people living with HIV, followed by Maharashtra (0.3 million) and Karnataka (0.19 million).

HIV prevalence at the national level has declined from an estimated peak of 0.38 per cent in 2001-03 to 0.26 per cent in 2015, which can be attributed to large-scale implementation and high coverage of India’s AIDS programme.

In October 2016, the Union cabinet approved amendments to the HIV-AIDS Bill 2014 to safeguard the rights of people living with AIDS or recently affected by HIV. According to the proposal, every HIV-positive or AIDS-affected person below the age of 18 years has the right to reside in a shared household and enjoy its facilities. The bill also prohibits any individual from publishing information or advocating feelings of hatred against HIV-positive persons and those living with them.

However, certain aspects of the bill have received criticism. For instance, it lacks clarity on whether the new bill contains provisions for free or complete treatment of patients, a longstanding concern for HIV-affected groups.

The bill only said state governments would provide HIV treatment “as far as possible” — leaving much room for interpretation — and patient groups have been demanding that this be changed.

(In arrangement with IndiaSpend.org, a data-driven, non-profit, public interest journalism platform. Devanik Saha is a Gender and Development student at the University of Sussex.

 

By Devanik Saha 

The views expressed are those of IndiaSpend.

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Parliament winter session adjourned till 18th December

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Parliament of India

New Delhi, 15th December: Rajyasabha adjourned till 11 am on 18th December after MLAs kept shouting and sloganeering. Before adjourning the house the Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien asked all MLAs if they don’t want private Members’ Bills. Replying to the deputy chairman the members said ‘no.’

Private Bills to be introduced in Rajyasabha 

Vinay P. Sahasrabuddhe (BJP) to introduce The Educational Innovations Commission Bill, 2017.

V. Vijaysai Reddy (YSR Congress) introduces The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (insertion of new article 21B), The Prevention of Enforced Disappearance Bill, 2017 and The Prevention of Torture Bill, 2017.

T. Subbarami Reddy(Congress) introduces The Flood and Drought Control Bill, 2017 and The Play Schools (Regulation) Bill, 2017.

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (Trinamool Congress) introduces The Bail Bill, 2017 and The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (amendment of article 366).

Narayan Lal Panchariya (BJP) The Vedic Education (Compulsory Teaching in Educational Institutions) Bill, 2017, The Solar Power (Development, Promotion and Mandatory Use) Bill, 2017 and The Judicial Statistics Bill, 2017

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad raises the issue of PM Modi’s allegations against former PM (Manmohan Singh) & others of conspiring with Pakistan for Gujarat Election 2017, says, ‘ye sadharan aarop nahi hai.’ House adjourned till 2:30 pm.

Members of Rajyasabha on the first day of Winter session raised issue of Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar’s disqualification. ‘Taanashahi nahin chalegi’ slogans raised by opposition, Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said ‘All in Well, not well!’. House adjourned till 12 noon.

Vijay Goel of the BJP makes a statement on government business from December 18, 2017. He lists the Bills the government has had passed by the Lok Sabha, pending in the Rajya Sabha.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduces the newly inducted Cabinet Ministers, in Rajya Sabha. Earlier today, he introduced them in Lok Sabha.

Lok Sabha adjourned till 18th December 11 AM, after obituary references.

Vice chairman of Rajyasabha and Loksabha speaker read obituary references after the start of parilament session with National anthem.

Earlier Prime minister Narendra Modi has hoped for productive outcomes from the session . Talking to media PM Modi said, “I have faith & all-party meeting y’day shared same idea that this Parliament session should be held with positive approach to move the country forward. I also hope that country will be benefited & democracy will be strengthened from the session: PM Modi ahead of winter session.”

Meanwhile after a meeting on Thursday(14th December) the opposition discussed startegy to encirlce the government over various issues like Rafael Deal, GST, Iflation etc.

Amit Shah is also making his first parliament debut through Rajyasabha from this winter session. This session will also  be the first full-fledged session chaired by the recently-elected Vice President M. Venkiah Naidu.

This partliament session is the shortest of all winter sessions from last 2 decades. Opposition parties also criticised the government for compromising with parliament session for political gain.

WeForNews

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‘Super Dancer’ shoot stopped midway for Shashi Kapoor

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Mumbai, Dec 5: The shooting of popular dance reality show “Super Dancer Chapter 2” was stopped midway to pay tribute to veteran actor-filmmaker Shashi Kapoor, who breathed his last on Monday here.

Actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra, filmmaker Anurag Basu and choreographer Geeta Kapur, who are seen as judges on “Super Dancer Chapter 2”, stopped the shooting of the show in-between when they heard about Shashi Kapoor’s demise on Monday and stood in silence to pay homage.

Also present on the set were actors Govinda and Raveena Tandon.

“Stopped the shoot on the set of ‘Super Dancer’ the minute we heard. All stood in silence to pay respects. Deeply saddened to hear about this. One of the most finest stylish actor in the industry. You shall always remain in our hearts Shashi Kapoor. Rest in peace,” Raveena posted on Instagram alongside a throwback image of the actor.

Shashi Kapoor breathed his last at 5.20 p.m. at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on Monday after a period of hospitalisation. He was 79.

IANS

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Sunny Leone confident Telugu film will change her image

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Mumbai, Dec 4: Actress Sunny Leone is excited about featuring in action sequences in a period war film in Telugu.

She has been signed up for a movie to be directed by V.C. Vadivudaiyan. Ponse Stephen is producing the film. The yet untitled film will be “based on the culture of south India”, read a statement.

For this project, she is all geared up to learn sword fighting, horse riding and other stunt-related arts. For this purpose, a special trainer from Andhra Pradesh will fly to Mumbai and teach Sunny all these arts.

Sunny has given a call sheet of 150 days, and around 70 minutes of the movie is said to be computer generated imagery-driven. It will be released in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi.

“After this movie, I am sure my image will change completely. I have always liked doing action sequences. I was waiting for a script like this only for years. I started preparing for this movie from the minute director V.C. Vadivudayan narrated me the script”, Sunny said.

“I have a special love towards south India, so I am very happy to do a straight Telugu movie. I have a lot of my fans in south India, especially Andra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala”,Sunny further added.

The shoot will start from February 2018.

WeForNews Bureau

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