R. Sairam

MADURAI: In recent years, the profile of those infected by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has seen a marked shift, according to experts in the field. No longer do the commercial sex workers, lorry drivers, daily wage and migrant labourers constitute the bulk of the victims, as was the case about 20 years back, says R. Ganesh, Professor, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Government Rajaji Hospital here.

"At present, housewives constitute a major chunk as they acquire the infection from their husbands." There are about 3 lakh HIV cases in Tamil Nadu with Madurai district accounting for about 40,000. There are about 6,000 AIDS cases in Madurai city. While the study puts the ratio of HIV incidence between both the genders at 60 to 40, the distribution might be equal among them, he says

The programmes of Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS), which has tie-ups with the State Government and a number of "positive network people" has been utilised for giving effective services to the HIV-infected people, says T.P. Balathandam, Regional Manager and Centre for Disease Control consultant for training, TANSACS. Over the past five years, almost every staff member in the health sector would have undergone training in HIV care, he says.