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Bombay police test positive for HIV

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Bombay police test positive for HIV
January 07, 2004. HUNDREDS of policemen in Bombay tested positive for
HIV in recent health examinations, prompting the police department to
launch an AIDS awareness drive, an official said today.

"Around 450 policemen have tested positive for HIV," Prem Kishan
Jain, joint police commissioner for administration, said. The figure
is initial, with medical data not yet compiled for much of Bombay's
40,000-strong police force. "A comprehensive campaign has been
launched and we are educating police officials about AIDS," Jain
said. Jain said the department was studying how the police were
infected.

However, it is an open secret in Bombay that police are among the
major patrons of sex workers. Jain said most of the policemen who
tested positive for HIV were low-level constables who were not well-
educated. India officially has at least 4.58 million people with
HIV/AIDS, second only to South Africa with five million. A US study
last year said HIV cases would skyrocket if the government did not
move aggressively promote safe sex. Bombay policemen are known for
their long working hours, high stress levels and poor pay.


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