A new study on the Gender Impact of HIV and AIDS in India says that women and children are more vulnerable from HIV. A girl child is also the most likely one to be withdrawn from school if anyone in the family happens to be infected with AIDS. The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) estimates that women number at least 2 million of the 5.2 million HIV/AIDS cases in India in 2005.
This means that women make up 39 percent of all infected cases. Among the 1,11,608 AIDS cases recorded last year 30 percent were females. In addition to this, the burden of caring for People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) also falls on women. In the survey, around 627 women were the main caregivers out of the 882 families surveyed. 20 percent of women caregivers were found HIV positive as compared to 16 percent men.
The survey was conducted by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and supported by the NACO and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Even economically, women were worse off. The survey found that HIV positive widows received less income than other households dealing with HIV. The income was Rs. 32,993 in the case of women and Rs. 51,111 in the case of men.