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SYMPOSIUM
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 395-397

The socioeconomic impact of human immunodeficiency virus / acquired immune deficiency syndrome in India and its relevance to eye care


Community Ophthalmology Unit, Dr. R.P. Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
GVS Murthy
Community Ophthalmology Unit, Dr. R.P. Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.42416

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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is aptly called the modern day 'plague' and has the potential to decimate people in the productive age group. On the other hand, the increasing life expectancy in developing countries spirals age-related blindness. One therefore reduces economic productivity while the other increases economic dependency. Both lead to increased expenditure of households though in different proportions. Human immunodeficiency virus and blindness are both associated with discrimination, stigma and long-term consequences. They impact the socioeconomic fabric of the affected individuals, communities and countries. The loss in productivity and the cost of support to the affected individuals are seen in both. Each is a potent problem on its own but together they spell disaster in geometric proportions rather than a simple additive effect. Strategies need to be evolved to provide solace and improve the quality of life of an HIV-positive blind individual.


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