Unfolding of HIV epidemic and spectrum of AIDS in north India
The review traces the unfolding of HIV epidemic in North India. The first few cases were reported in 1989 in Indians returning from African countries like Uganda, Zambia and a trickle from USA. Subsequently the cases started pouring from coastal areas of Mumbai, Chennai and finally the virus spread all over through rail and road. In the North eastern region or the golden triangle, IV drug users formed a major group. Using a simple peptide ELISA, it was documented that the virus belonged to the NOF strain. This was much before clades were identified using molecular analysis. It appears that the HIV virus followed the drug (mandrax) route between Mumbai and South Africa. An alarming rise was observed among truck drivers fuelling HIV in Punjab villages who indulged in promiscuous behavior in road side making shift brothels near eating kiosks.