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Sharing needle major cause for AIDS in Northeast: UNODC

Written by: Staff
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Guwahati, Oct 25 (UNI) Sharing of needle among drug addicts is believed to be one of the major causes for the spreading of AIDS in Northeast, a study claims.

The study conducted by UNODC (United Nations Office on Drug and Crime) on HIV/AIDS cases in North East India focused on this fact.

Contraband drugs mainly heroin smuggled from Myanmar and their use in Northeast's Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram was responsible for growth of killer disease in the region, the study maintained.

UNODC's project director Ajit Jai said here yesterday that sharing of needle among the people was mainly responsible for spreading AIDS in the three contiguous states of Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram which are close to drug-trafficking 'Golden Triangle' zone.

Manipur has highest number of HIV/AIDS cases followed by Nagaland. However, Asom and Tripura's Aids cases were related to STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases).

The UNODC's report said that heroin's smuggled route through NH 39 and Imphal and Kohima were the major contraband drug transit point. The Indo-Myanmar border trade points of Taham and Fallon in Mizoram were also becoming safe drug transit point, said Mr Jai.

After entering Mizoram, drug peddlers smuggled the goods to Bangladesh.

The report said about 20 per cent sex workers in these three states also inflicted by aids.

Mr Jai warned that if the governments did not initiate action to curb the drug abuse in NE region, the HIV/AIDS cases would turn to a dangerous proportion.

Activists of anti-AIDS campaign were stressing for better coordination among police forces of different states to curb the drug trafficking.

UNI MT PC LL BST1155

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