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Scrutiny
  
Young guns...
AIDS and defense forces: danger
29/05/2008

They never told us joining the armed forces would be so much fun! Forget war and terrorism, the exciting news for a warrior looking for a fight now is AIDS! As per Defence Minister A. K. Antony, there have been 255 positive cases of AIDS from 2004 to 2006. As per official data, there were 144 AIDS cases in 2004 and 377 in 2006. With a total of around 6,108 soldiers estimated to be infected with AIDS virus, this disease is relatively spreading very fast. The ministry claims (and it may be right this time) that those are insurgency postings that are adding to these numbers; as personnel are away from their homes during these times, and indulge in ‘risky sexual behaviour’.

Even before the ministry thinks about organising awareness camps and medication for the forces in general, a particular data might give them more insights. India not only has one of the largest standing armies in the world, it also has the largest percentage of AIDS patients: 81% of total AIDS patients are from the Army, 2% from Air Force and 10% from the Navy. Not that people were preferring the Air Force or Navy over the Army (were they?), but the Army surely has a new PR disaster in the making!

By:- B&E
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