Published in Int. Journal of Anthropology – Vol. 30 – n.1 – 2015
Keywords: HIV infection, tribes, West Bengal, India.
There are 705 tribes in India located in five major tribal belts across the country. Jhargram is the main tribal area. However, there are no studies on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS infection in these areas. Therefore, the present study was conducted to report the prevalence of HIV infection among the people of the tribal dominated areas of West Bengal. Overall, in the present study, 9.9% of the people were found to be infected with HIV. It was observed that the prevalence of HIV infection was significantly higher among tribal people (16.3%) than among the higher hereditary castes (general cast 3.9%). More impor- tantly, the prevalence of HIV infection was identical in Other Backward Class (OBC) (10.0 %) and Scheduled Castes (SC) (10.0%). Furthermore, the rate of HIV infection rose with social class (x2=13.801, p<0.001). Moreover, tribal peoples were 4.8 (odds ratio (OR)= 4.80, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.91– 12.55) times more likely of contracting the HIV virus than the general castes. And have a 1.75 (OR (OBC) = 1.75, 95% CI: 0.76 – 4.09; OR (SC) = 1.75 95% CI: 0.71 – 4.44) times greater risk of contracting the HIV virus than the OBC and SC, respectively (in the present study among the population of West Bengal, India). Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) play a fundamental role in educating these groups and raising awareness. However, more AIDS awareness education in tribal languages is urgently needed.
Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology,
Sukumar Sengupta Mahavidalaya, Keshpur Midnapore-721150.
West Bengal, India.