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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 44-47
Demographic and socioeconomic profile of HIV/AIDS patients: Study from a rural tertiary center of West Bengal, India

1 Department of Medicine, Murshidabad Medical College, Berhampur, India
2 Department of Medicine, College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
3 Independent Public Health Consultant, Howrah, West Bengal, India
4 Department of Anesthesiology, Murshidabad Medical College, Berhampur, India
5 Department of Medicine, Nightingale Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

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Date of Web Publication10-Dec-2019


Introduction: HIV/AIDS is a spectrum of disorders ranging from primary infection to the advanced disease, characterized by opportunistic infection and neoplasms. It is a chronic disease, which is prevalent in a significant number of population throughout the world and as well as in India. Approximately 10% of total people living with HIV/AIDS of India live in the state of West Bengal both in rural and urban area. This study was done to see the difference in socioeconomic status and demographic variation in the HIV patients, who were enlisted for the treatment in the antiretroviral treatment (ART) center of Murshidabad district of West Bengal. Methods: It was a cross-sectional and observational study conducted in the ART center of Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital from October 2014 to January 2017. The enlisted HIV/AIDS patients of ART center of Murshidabad district were included in this study after obtaining written consent from each patient. The data were analyzed by Microsoft Excel format. Results and Conclusion: A total of 822 HIV/AIDS patients were included in this ART center-based survey. The results showed that the incidence of HIV infection varies with the age, sex, literacy, occupation, and socioeconomic status. The incidence of infection was more in the sexually active male, illiterate, unemployed, and low socioeconomic status due to the lack of proper knowledge, abnormal behavioral pattern, and migration to distant places for employment.

Keywords: Antiretroviral treatment, demographic profile, HIV/AIDS, socioeconomic status

How to cite this article:
Sen K, Chakraborty S, Acharyya A, Ghosh K, Ghosh S, Bhattacharya A. Demographic and socioeconomic profile of HIV/AIDS patients: Study from a rural tertiary center of West Bengal, India. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2018;11:44-7

How to cite this URL:
Sen K, Chakraborty S, Acharyya A, Ghosh K, Ghosh S, Bhattacharya A. Demographic and socioeconomic profile of HIV/AIDS patients: Study from a rural tertiary center of West Bengal, India. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2018 [cited 2020 Nov 23];11:44-7. Available from:

   Introduction Top

HIV/AIDS is a chronic infectious, deadly disease with a high mortality rate. It is prevalent in most part of the world and also in India. HIV spread by different pathways but mostly blood contact during unprotected sex with an HIV-positive partner and blood transfusion. Intravenous drug abuse and the peripartum transmission also play major roles in HIV transmission.[1]

The total prevalence of HIV infection in the world was approximately 36.9 million at the end of 2014, and among them, 47% were female. In 2014, a total of 1.2 million death occurred due to AIDS. In India, the total number of HIV-affected patients was 2.1 million at the end of 2013.[2] In West Bengal (2009-2010), the prevalence of HIV/AIDS patients was 0.25% of the total population.[3] It has been noticed that in India, the most common transmission of HIV is due to the heterosexual contact, but intravenous drug abuse in the different border states also plays an important role in the transmission of HIV in India.

The recent survey has revealed that West Bengal has been becoming the medium prevalence to high prevalence state. Multiple factors are involved in increasing the prevalence rate, i.e., huge international border, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, girl child trafficking, and child labor.[4],[5]

In West Bengal, a total of 19 numbers of antiretroviral treatment (ART) center are running. One of these is Murshidabad Medical College ART center, which starts its activity in 2014 October and caters the population of the entire Murshidabad District, part of Birbhum, and Nadia district. Murshidabad is a densely populated district and the ninth most populous in India. It borders West Bengal's Malda district to the North, Jharkhand's Sahebganj district and Pakur district to the Northwest, Birbhum to the West, Bardhaman to the Southwest, and Nadia district due South. The international border with Islamic Republic country of Bangladesh Rajshahi Division is on the east. It is one of the 11 districts in West Bengal, currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme. This study was conducted to observe the pattern of socioeconomic status and demographic variation among HIV patients, who were enlisted for the treatment in the ART center of a backward district of Eastern part of India.

   Methods Top

This cross-sectional and observational study was conducted from October 2014 to January 2017 at Murshidabad Medical College, Murshidabad District of West Bengal. All the HIV-positive patients above the age of 15 years who registered for ART from October 2014 to January 2017 were included. The total number of participants in this study was 822. All the patients were interviewed during the initial part of the diagnosis and registration in the ART center and were also explained the purpose of the study. The confidentiality of the data was maintained. A pretested and semi-structured questionnaire was used for the data collection. The data were collected by purposive sampling procedure. The study was approved by the Institutional Ethical Committee of Murshidabad Medical College. The written consent was obtained from each patient. All the data were collected in a prescribed format and were tabulated in Excel sheet (Microsoft office 2007).

   Results Top

The study shows that there is variability in respect to age, sex, marital status, socioeconomic status, literacy, and occupation. The important variations in the study subject are given below by different tables.

This study found that maximum of HIV-positive persons were male (56.20%). The age group of 25-34 years (37.71%) and the age group of 35-44 years (33.81%) persons were more suffering with HIV than any other age group [Table 1].
Table 1: Distribution of the study participants according to the sex and age

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It is also observed that maximum of HIV-positive patients were “illiterate” (37.22%) or “Just literate” (29.44%) [Table 2]. Near about 53.77% of the HIV-positive patients were from rural areas and 46.22% of the HIV-positive patients were from urban areas. Maximum (65.74%) of HIV-positive patients belonged to nuclear family. Among all HIV-affected patients, married people (71.77%) were found much higher in number. However, it is also noticed that near about 10% of HIV-affected patients were single or unmarried [Table 3].
Table 2: Distribution of the participants according to the educational status

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Table 3: Distribution of the study participants according to different socioeconomic variation

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This study also found that near about 36% and 32.60% of HIV affected person's per capita monthly income <Rs. 949/- and Rs. 949-1834/-, respectively. Maximum of HIV-positive persons were unskilled (22.14%) and unemployed (19.95%) [Table 4].
Table 4: Distribution of the study participants according to the occupation and income

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   Discussion Top

The study shows that the majority of the patients were male, i.e., 56.20%. This may be due to the more exposure of males to the outer world for their occupation and staying prolonged time away from home leads to the different addictions along with abnormal sexual behavioral pattern, and there is a high incidence of unprotected sex with commercial sex workers. Sometimes, intravenous drug abusers also more observed among rural male population.[6]

Initially, the HIV patients were of the urban population, but nowadays, the scenario is changing rapidly. There are very much migration of rural population to the distant city for their work. Beside these for the extended facility of rapid diagnosis and monitoring in the rural area and campaigning of different mass media, the incidence and registration to the ART center is increasing in rural population.[7] In our study, it is shown that 53.77% of the patients are of rural population.

In our study, 71.77% of the patients are married, and a sizeable proportion (15.20%) of this study group was found to be comprising housewife. Gender inequality is often the cause behind individual's inability to negotiate safer sex. This is particularly true for married women making them more vulnerable to the HIV infection.[6]

In this study, majority of the patients are of Class V, i.e., PCMI (Per capita monthly income) <Rs. 949 (36% of total patients). Their lack of knowledge, type of occupation, and behavioral pattern all are assumed to be favorable factors for HIV infection and also transmission to their family members. Similar findings are observed by Nirmal et South India.[8]

The sexually active period of life (25-44 years) is more vulnerable to acquire infection both in male and female subgroups. In our study, a total of patients in the age group from 24 to 44 years were 76.66% in female and 67.52% in male. This reflects the sexual transmission in majority cases. Nojomi et al.[9] observed the similar findings in their study.

In the present study, 35.49% of male and 39.44% of female were of illiterate. About 19.04% of males and 18.88% of females had primary level of education. It is also observed that literacy rate was much lower in female patients. A similar finding was observed by Fatiregun et al.[10] This finding may justify that proper lack of knowledge about the transmission of this disease and the method of prevention is associated with a high chance of infection.

Finally, the mortality of HIV infection has been drastically reduced nowadays due to availability of highly active ART medication and distribution of these drugs at the free of cost by the ART center and proper monitoring and surveillance by the NACO (National Aids Control Organization). The active involvement of the different mass organization and health education by the mass media changed the scenario of registration in the ART center for treatment and reduced the morbidity as well as mortality.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Piot P, Kazatchkine M, Dybul M, Lob-Levyt J. AIDS: Lessons learnt and myths dispelled. Lancet 2009;374:260-3.  Back to cited text no. 1
Paranjape RS, Challacombe SJ. HIV/AIDS in India: An overview of the Indian epidemic. Oral Dis 2016;22 Suppl 1:10-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
Annual report 2009-2010, West Bengal State AIDS Prevention and Control Society(WBSAP & CS): p. 8-12.  Back to cited text no. 3
West Bengal State Aids Prevention and Control Society. What makes West Bengal Vulnerable to HIV/AIDS? HIV/AIDS Scenario. Available from: [Last accessed on 2014 Sep 01].  Back to cited text no. 4
India Today. HIV Cases rising in West Bengal: Survey. India Today; 03 December, 2012. Available from: [Last accessed on 2014 Sep 11].  Back to cited text no. 5
Ranjan A, Bhatnagar T, Babu GR, Detels R. Sexual behavior, HIV prevalence and awareness among wives of migrant workers: Results from cross-sectional survey in rural North India. Indian J Community Med 2017;42:24-9.  Back to cited text no. 6
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
National AIDS Control Organization. The Current Status and Trends of HIV/AIDS Epidemic in India. New Delhi: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; 2001.  Back to cited text no. 7
Nirmal B, Divya KR, Dorairaj VS, Venkateswaran K. Quality of life in HIV/AIDS patients: A cross-sectional study in South India. Indian J STD 2008;29:15-7.  Back to cited text no. 8
Nojomi M, Anbary K, Ranjbar M. Health-related quality of life in patients with HIV/AIDS. Arch Iran Med 2008;11:608-12.  Back to cited text no. 9
Fatiregun AA, Mofolorunsho KC, Osagbemi KG. Quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS in Kogi state, Nigeria. Benin J Postgrad Med 2009;11:21-7.  Back to cited text no. 10

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kaushik Ghosh
Flat 401, Crystal Apartment, 14/1 Natun Para Lane, Khagra, Murshidabad, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ATMPH.ATMPH_224_17

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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]


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