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Alarming rise in HIV among drug addicts--notably punjabi youths!

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This trend if not stopped will get worse and worse, seriously what alternatives are there, whos's to blame?

Alarming rise in HIV among drug addicts
Against the national average of 10% among injectable drug users, the count stands much high at 40% in Amritsar and 27% in Tarn Taran
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service


(Above) the locked gate of the de-addiction centre at Kairon village in Tarn Taran district and (Below) drug wrappers and injections lie strewn at a deserted building next to the Civil Hospital. Photos: Vishal Kumar

Tarn Taran, January 7
The rampant drug addiction among youths in Punjab is putting them at the risk of bigger danger — HIV infection. The HIV prevalence among injectable drug users (IDUs) is 27 per cent in Tarn Taran and 40 per cent in Amritsar, much above the national average of 10 per cent.

The Opiod Substitution Therapy (OST) Centre here has over 1,000 registered male patients, of whom 180 have been regularly visiting the centre to avail the treatment. Amritsar too has an OST Centre with 420 men listed with it; 90 have been visiting regularly for treatment. Confirming the figures, the centre’s nodal officer, Dr Rana Ranbir Singh, said most alarming was the fact that HIV prevalence had far exceeded the national average in these border areas.

OST centres are an initiative of the National Aids Control Organisation, which provides free medicines for the treatment of IDUs.

Sources said one of the main reasons behind the increasing number of IDUs was that addicts find injecting drugs cost-effective. By injecting drugs, primarily heroin, into their veins, they get a high with a small quantity of the drug. On the other hand, addicts end up wasting a part of the heroin if they sniff it, said sources.

Apart from heroin, the border belt youth are getting hooked on to smack and pharmaceutical drugs like morphine. The addicts mostly are in the 20-40 age group, but they cut across different sections of the society. Another cause for concern was the easy availability of drugs, which was corroborated by various individuals. An addict from Sakhyawali village said he never faced any problem in getting his daily dose. He said most of those dealing in the drug trade themselves were addicts.

A physician from Guru Ka Khu village said drug peddlers and addicts could easily be spotted on the streets carrying out their deals in a secretive manner. “Some people even run the drug racket from their houses,” he said.

Among the areas where drug addiction is on the rise in Tarn Taran are Patti, Khemkaran, Valtoha and Khalra, besides villages like Kazikot, Valipur, Bugga, Palsora, Fatehchak and Muradpur.

De-addiction facilities ill-equipped

Though drug addiction is rising in the border belt, de-addiction facilities seem to be unmatchable. A couple of months back, only the district headquarters had de-addiction and OST centres in its civil hospital. The de-addiction centre in Patti got functional two months ago, but it is yet to start proper medication of addicts. A de-addiction centre located at Kairon village near Patti has been lying shut for the past sometime while the infrastructure inside it is rotting. The authorities have neither shifted its furniture to a hospital nor put the building to an alternative use. This, despite the fact that addicts from Patti had been visiting Tarn Taran for treatment in the past. Dr Rana, also the in-charge of the Patti centre, said the town will soon have its own OST centre and Tarn Taran will become the first district in the country to have two OST centres.

Worst-hit areas in Tarn Taran

Patti, Khemkaran, Valtoha and Khalra and villages like Kazikot, Valipur, Bugga, Palsora, Fatehchak and Muradpur.

Addicts using deserted buildings

Drug addicts have been exploiting the premises of government hospitals and de-addiction centres to have their daily dose of drugs. The Tribune team spotted the leftovers of paper used to sniff drugs at a deserted building of the Panchayati Raj Department located on the premises of the Tarn Taran Civil Hospital, besides a room inside the de-addiction centre building in Patti. Superintendent of Police (detective) Harvinder Singh said he would be issuing orders to all station house officers to keep an eye on deserted buildings in the district.

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Paji, i understand your sentiments but we are far from from helpless. We as a Qaum are 30million strong. On these clear cut issues we have total unity. We just need to battle within our lives to eithe

This trend if not stopped will get worse and worse, seriously what alternatives are there, whos's to blame? Alarming rise in HIV among drug addicts Against the national average of 10% among injectabl

What else is there to expect when 'shooting up' heroin is so in vogue amongst the youth of Panjab.

What else is there to expect when 'shooting up' heroin is so in vogue amongst the youth of Panjab.

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The drugs GhalluGhara where the profits from dead Sikh bodies fund millionaire lifestyles in Lahore and Delhi, the female infanticide GhalluGhara and the division of the Panth along lines and Gurdwara's determined by one's family background need a more determined Dharam Yudh now today in 2013 than was the case when Indira Gandhi was hellbent on murdering innocent Sikhs almost 30 years ago. If we can't win the battle on these three objectives as well as ensuring 100% literacy within the Panth it kind of renders dreams for the resurrection of Khalsa Raj indefinitely on hold. We won't achieve Khalsa Raj until our Qaum is virtually 100% drugs free, with an equal male/female ratio and united saanjhay Sangat Gurdwara's in every locality and educated youth who can meaningfully do seva for the Panth and wider humanity. The youth in the Diaspora can lead this Dharam Yudh via our actions now and through daswand or direct participation and by increasing literacy amongst the poor and oppressed globally we can ensure more fighters for the Sikh battle to ensure Sarbat dha Bhalla for all humanity.





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40% in Amritsar? Flip me, that's horrendous.

Kaljugi Paji it's the proximity to Pakistan that is responsible for the increased prevalance of drugs and HIV there. Instead of us doing yatra's to the historic Gurdwara's in Pakistan we need to simply pray at our local Gurdwara's and focus the money saved on travelling to Pakistan (which is then used by the ISI to flood our side of Punjab with even more heroine etc) concentrated on local upliftment, education and Sikhi parchar as the most effective way to combat drugs and HIV.

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AIDS is bad news . Alwars wear a condom or best thing just dont do it. Its bad for you.

The AIDS is from the needles they pass around when doing drugs; it's not from unprotected intercourse. Although those numbers must include a few cases of intercourse-related AIDS victims the thrust of the article is to do with drugs.

Literally an entire generation lost to drugs.

That's exactly what the powers-to-be desired when they huddled around in a darkened room in Delhi somewhere back in 1984 post-Operation Bluestar. "How to kill off future generations of Sikhs without firing another bullet". Seems like they've succeeded.

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Punjab is always 20 years behind the rest. De-addiction clinics, punishment and law enforcement, supply control etc have all been tried elsewhere and all failed. Ultimately it comes down to a case of the stupid dying out and hoping that is enough of a deterrent for the rest.

I know that may sound callous, but this issue is hardly new. It's been talked about for years and no one has done anything.

Historically, the only society that has ever dealt with its drugs problem is China. Back in the 1950s they took all their opium addicts and executed them. It worked. I dont think the Akalis, BSF, EPP, RAW etc who all benefit from drugs flooding East Punjab will be keen on such drastic action.

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from an alien approach and down falls then listen up and understand.................the so called sikh preachers look down at non amritdharis..then non amritsharis there for do wot they want...............but when a fight happens the amritdharis look for the non amritdharis.....what a cycle........we are all one... from moneh to keshdari that have not taken amrit, to amritdhari who do not recite bani then the complete pakage...etc you get the point....main point id like to stress "MANY AMRITDHARIS KEEP KESH AND KAKKAR BUT DO NOT RECITE BANI"...............going back to the main priniciple is BANI..BANI... so for many 'singh' who have taken "amrit" get off your high horse cos you have not done s'h'i't........the reason i stres this point is cos ur the ones controlling the gurdwara... gurdwara should be represented by panj pyara who are the gyani.. gyani means gyan of maharaj.. that doe snot mean simple basic santhiya of gurbani but deep arth aswell which on average takes 10 years....better to have 5 quality gurdwara in uk then 100 joker temples...

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The AIDS is from the needles they pass around when doing drugs; it's not from unprotected intercourse. Although those numbers must include a few cases of intercourse-related AIDS victims the thrust of the article is to do with drugs

Yes. What you say is 100% true. And....without evening talking about how nearly of all the AIDS in Punjab actually got there in the first place by way of Punjabi truck drivers and their 'unprotective sex' in 'Inidia'......let us take this to a deeper level. This is dangerous territory for me because precedence has shown that either threads get locked or I get banned once I go deep. Mostly this is because the moderators feel I have veered way too far from the thread.

Alas...deep indeed I shall go: In a strange and twisted way there is actually great merit to everything 'innergear' says'. Sometimes I think he is mocking us. He conducts his conversations deliberately with the mode of comminication today and then sits back and watches as we philstines mock Newton and Galileo.

Innergear...and his ghetto text from a smart fone......makes a point which is one of the most religious points ever made here:

Foreskin : the value and non-value therein.

Heroin. that is what is killing Punjab. It comes from Pakistan. It gets to Paksitan not far fr ahead in Afghanistan. The streets and rural villages of Pakistan and Afghanistan and the other side of the border in Iran. Lets start with the other side of the border in Iran. It has a heroin addiction rate that makes Punjab look like a nun's dormitory. Iran's female drug addiction rate is 5000% more than Punjab. Their AIDS rate ? A hundred million per cent less than Punjab. Afghanistan ....where the drugs come from ? A drug addiction population, including women and young girls, that compared to rural Punjab makes Punjab look ike a Conservative women's monthly meeting. Pakistan ? Their AIDS rate makes Punjab look like Dante's inferno.

So why is this ?

Medical and scientific journals have stated that circumsicion reduces the chances of such sex diseases by more han 1000%.

One thousand per cent. Now thats a big number.

Does the horrific Punjab sex disease rate not prove these scientific reports right ? If not.....How do you explain why Punjab, having a far lower IVD rate than its 3 neighbours to the north, has an AIDS problem five milllion per cent higher than them ?????

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It is a medical myth that circumcision can prevent HIV or any other disease. Any benefits that have been found from studies, which have mostly been carried out in Africa with biased authors, show a negligible difference that isn't statistically significant. The prevelence of penile cancer is very slightly lower in circumcised men v uncircumcised men. Routine circumcision is not the best way to go about reducing it just as routine double mastectomy (in women are have finished with breast feeding) isn't the best way to reduce breast cancer. One of the main causes of penile cancer, human papilloma virus (HPV), which also causes genital warts, is more common in circumcised men as well.

Going back to HIV, most studies have concentrated on Kenya, Uganda and South Africa but these studies were NOT randomised-controlled trials and the sample size and sample group were heavily biased. When the World Health Organisation (WHO) investigated, they instructed leading public health specialists in the USA, a country where most men are traditionally circumcised (not anymore however) and the findings of this randomised-controlled trial published in The Lancet, were that circumcising men did not reduce HIV transmission.


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