Background: The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to gather momentum in India, destroying innocent lives and imperilling future generations. Controlling spread of HIV is critical. Ignoring this will lead millions of Indians in grip of this pandemic. Despite valiant efforts by government agencies and heritable groups, large cross-sections of Indian society still lack information about the nature of the disease and how individuals can protect themselves against it. As a result, the epidemic is spreading rapidly to the general population. The Northeast India is the eastern most part of India with seven states viz. Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.
Aim & Objective: This study examines the importance of awareness, prevention and accepting attitude strategies for HIV/AIDS among women and men in the age group 15-49 in the seven states of north eastern region of India.
Methods: Data has been taken from the records of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3; 2005-06) (www.nfhsindia.org) conducted under the stewardship of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, with the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai. The different categories for comparison are (1) Knowledge of HIV/AIDS among women (2) Knowledge of HIV/AIDS among men (3) Prevention of HIV/AIDS among women (4) Prevention of HIV/AIDS among men (5) Accepting attitude toward people living with HIV/AIDS among women (6) Accepting attitude toward people living with HIV/AIDS among men. A meta analytic model, introduced by Bhattacharjee and Gupta (2008), has been followed by assigning weight as mean of the sub-category scores.
Results: Analyses reveal that Manipur (95%) is associated with the highest level of awareness, prevention and accepting attitude of HIV/AIDS while Meghalaya having the lowest score (17%) is not still fully aware of HIV/AIDS.
Conclusion: Findings highlight the need for integrated awareness and prevention programmes that emphasise on the behavioural change toward the people living with HIV/AIDS which has serious implication for both individual and society as a whole. Further investigations are required to understand the reasons for the low level of awareness in most of the North Eastern states of India.