India – Injecting Death – HIV&AIDSAt the outermost bounds of a booming India, drug routes cut across the poor Northeastern states touching Myanmar. Produced in the Golden Triangle, pure heroine easily enters Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland to fuel one of the fiercest Hiv-Aids epidemics India has to face. In the 1990s, massively injected with shared needles, heroine became the perfect vector for Hiv. In Manipur 40 to 60% of drug users could be infected. Today, the cost of heroine has led many drug users to switch to Spasmo-Proxyvon: injected, this pharmaceutical drug also causes gangrene. And amputations are not unusual among addicts.
To fight Hiv/Aids and drug addiction, means are more than limited. In this Christian area, drug and sex are taboo, Hiv positive people and addicts stigmatized. In Mizoram, anti retro-viral treatments benefit 28 people only. Drug addicts can hardly rely on clean syringes to avoid contamination: accused of encouraging drug use, they are legally banned.
Despite discrimination and sometimes hatred, people living with Hiv-Aids, doctors and ex-drug users pursue their plan of preventing new contaminations and giving treatment to anyone in need. This story tells their reality.
Text by Raphaële Bail