At least six Reang refugees staying in camps in North Tripura district have been suffering from AIDS and 12 others found HIV positive, official sources today here said.
This was found in a survey at the refugee camps in Kanchanpur subdivision by the state health department.
The department collected blood samples of 120 inmates of which six were found affected by AIDS and 12 as HIV positive, the sources said.
Refugee leader R Bhanglo, however, told local reporters at Kanchanpur that altogether 17 people, including six women, were found to be affected by AIDS in the six camps there.
More than 33,000 Reang/Bru refugees are sheltered in these camps, who crossed the border since 1997 following ethnic clashes between Reangs and Mizos in neighbouring Mizoram.
Health department sources said that a section of poverty stricken refugees were working as sex workers and a section of youths were drug addicts, thereby spreading the desease.
The sources said they would take steps for creating awareness about AIDS among the inmates of the camps.