Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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HIV and women who inject drugs in India

18
AUG
2011

Women Who Inject Drugs in Manipur, India © Prashant Panjiar for India HIV/AIDS Alliance

Largely neglected in the current HIV strategy in India, women who inject drugs are a highly marginalised and vulnerable population in need of a comprehensive response to meet their health and social needs.

The India HIV/AIDS Alliance (Alliance India) in partnership with SASO has initiated a pilot program for women who inject drugs in Manipur, called ‘Chanura Kol’—which means ‘garden of women’ in Manipuri. With support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation, this project provides HIV prevention, drug-related services, and impact mitigation for women in three sites across Manipur – Imphal, Churachandpur and Moreh.

The study was conducted to explore and better understand issues such as demographic characteristics, family structures and support, social exclusion, sexual and injecting behaviour, and accessibility, knowledge of and availability of services among women who inject drugs in Manipur.

The findings confirm that women who inject drugs have largely been neglected by current efforts. This group experiences significantly inadequate access to information and services to meet the full range of their needs (drug-, HIV-, sexual and reproductive health and general health-related). Furthermore, exclusion, stigma and discrimination and violence are part of their daily existence, which alongside unsafe injecting and sexual behaviour make them vulnerable not only to HIV infection but also contributes to their poor health and well-being overall.

The study examines:

  • Sexual and drug related behaviour and practices
  • Self-reported health indicators
  • Access to information
  • Access to services
  • Stigma and discrimination

Read the full study here: In the Shadows: The Chanura Kol Baseline Study on Women Who Inject Drugs in Manipur, India