HIV/AIDS Adolescent Awareness Program, Jhabua District, Madhya Pradesh (Completed)
India has about 5.7 million HIV/AIDS cases, outnumbering all other countries. This number is sometimes projected to reach 25 million by the year 2010. The epidemic is now reaching the rural communities and the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) is only gradually upgrading its Voluntary Counseling and Testing program. The district Jhabua in the western part of the central Indian state Madhya Pradesh has 85 % tribal population and presents with among the lowest literacy rates of the country. More than half of its 1.2 million tribal inhabitants live as marginal farmers below the poverty line and periodically migrate to the adjacent states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. In 2002 Gujarat saw an HIV prevalence of more than five percent among high risk groups, while Maharashtra was regarded as a high prevalence state since more than one percent of pregnant women were infected with HIV. Working as migrant workers in urban areas, the tribal people of Jhabua are exposed to a number of risk factors to acquire HIV/AIDS including sexual exploitation and contact with commercial sex workers. Hence Real Medicine Foundation and the Jhabua Diocese Social Service Society (JDSSS) started an HIV prevention and care program for the tribal population of the district Jhabua one year ago.