Assam may one day be high AIDS-affected state

Guwahati: Though Assam is not a high AIDS- prevalent state till now but, it can very well acquire the status considering its position surrounded by Nagaland and Manipur where the dreaded disease has spread its tentacles wide.

Being the gateway to the Northeast, Assam is visited daily by a rainbow crowd of migrant workers, truck drivers, Army personnel and tourists from all over the region, making it highly susceptible to the spread of the disease.

Often this floating population, a lot of them from Nagaland and Manipur, engage in unsafe sexual practices during their temporary stay.

According to the Assam State AIDS Control Society, the state receives a very large number of trucks from outside every day and these long-distrance drivers come in contact with sex workers.

``Moreover, the region`s easy access to drugs due to its close proximity to the heroin-producing Golden Triangle of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand contributes to the spread of the deadly disease,`` the ASACS said.

The ASACS will shortly implement the third phase of the National Aids Control Programme after successfully conducting the first two, it said.

Migration from outside the state in view of the large demand for manual labour in development projects is high and these migrants have been found to exhibit `risky sexual behaviour`, it said.