• Chandra Pauline Dinakar PHM-USA circle
  • Roshanara Begum University of Madras
  • Gifty Immanuel Center for AIDS and Antiviral Research


Incarceration, Tattooing, substance abusers


Substance abuse is a skyrocketting problem in India today.The intertwined epidemics of HIV/AIDS and injecting drug use are among the most emerging public health problems in India .Intravenous Drug Usage (IVDU) was found to be more prevalent among the ex-prisoners who were visiting the World Vision of India. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and correlates of HIV infection among a sub-sample of frequently incarcerated community-based injecting drug users (IDUs) in Chennai city, India. 180 injecting drug users were recruited and interviewed using a structured questionnaire regarding their socio-demographics and HIV risk characteristics. Datas were analyzed using χ2 and multiple logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). The prevalence of HIV infection was 69.4% among male injecting drug users. In the multivariable analysis, a history of shared drug injection inside prison (OR, 2.45; 95% CI, 1.01-4.3) and that of multiple incarcerations (OR, 4.15; 95%CI, 1.08-8.03); and tattooing (OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.80 -3.78) were associated with significantly higher prevalence of HIV infection. This study proved that incarceration-related exposures and tattooing proved to be the main correlates of HIV-1 infection. Urgent and comprehensive HIV prevention programs and cost effective rehabilitation centers for injecting drug users in and out of prison are of prime importance to prevent further transmission of HIV infection.

Author Biographies

Chandra Pauline Dinakar, PHM-USA circle

Chandra Pauline Dinakar, Ph.D. Dr. Chandra Pauline Dinakar was born in Benghazi, the capital of Libya. Her education was pursued in the metropolitan city of Chennai, India. She received her B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Madras in 1994; B. Ed from the University of Madras in 1995 and M.S. in Dietetics from the Women’s Christian College. She worked as a Guest Lecturer for the department of Nutrition for a Government college in T.N state for one year. Later she returned to the University of Madras in 2004 to pursue her Ph.D. and was awarded a grant from the government for her exhaustive study on the HIV positivity rate, nutritional-wellbeing and risk behaviours of substance abusers in Chennai. She completed her pioneering study on the nutritional aspects of injecting drug users in 2009 and was awarded the ‘Best research student’ by the Department of Human Science of J.B.A.S College for Women, University of Madras. Dr. Chandra Pauline Dinakar’s studies have focused on the prevalence of HIV infection among the intravenous drug users (IVDUs) in India and an invasive study on their nutritional status and quality of life. This was a pioneering study in India since there was absolutely no study done to analyse the nutritional status of IVDUs in India. The World Vision of India encouraged their IVDU clients to participate in the study. This study is a holistic study identifying the epidemiology, socio-demography the nutritional status and quality of life of selected IVDUs. Dr. Chandra Pauline Dinakar was invited by the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland to present her doctoral findings in the Annual meeting of the Safe Injection Global Network (SIGN) in November 2007. She was very much interested with the working modalities of the United Nations and took up an internship with the WHO headquarters. She was selected for the internship and six months later worked for the Injection Safety unit of the World Health Organization in Geneva as a short term consultant. Dr. Chandra Pauline Dinakar was actively involved in health education programs for the public population in Chennai. Her research work was documented in main stream newspapers and magazines in India which was found to impact the general population in encouraging the idea of uplifting the marginalized and ‘hard-to-reach population’ in India. Dr. Chandra Pauline Dinakar considers playing her piano, guitar, fabric painting as one of her favorite leisure activities. Traveling, photography and reading behavioral science and nutrition related journals are other activities she enjoys. She loves singing and has been a background vocalist for a band in India. Dr. Chandra Pauline Dinakar currently devotes all her time in observing the scenario of treatment of substance abusers in New York and New Jersey and involved as a health activist with the PHM USA circle. Dr. Chandra Pauline Dinakar can be reached at cpauline123@gmail.com or drpauline1@gmail.com. Tel. no: (001)732 317 1122

Roshanara Begum, University of Madras

Dr. Roshanara is an International Nutrition Therapist and former Controller of examinations in J.B.A.S college for women in Chennai,India. Dr. Roshanara initiated the need to publish all research articles by Masters and doctoral degree candidates in her new journal, the Journal of Human Science. Dr. Roshanara has been a mentor for 25 doctoral students who were involved in multi-disciplinary research projects. Dr. Roshanara is currently devoting her time in mentoring students pursuing their doctoral program.

Gifty Immanuel, Center for AIDS and Antiviral Research

Dr. Gifty Immanuel, MD,MPH &TM, is a virologist and the Director of Center for AIDS and Antiviral Research, a non-profit scientific Institute, created in the late nineties to conduct research and develop treatments for viral diseases in man. Special interests include Viral Hepatitis, Human Retroviral Infections and Viral Haemorrhagic fevers like Dengue and Kyassanur forest disease. Dr. Immanuel is currently working on viral epidemiological studies with immunologists, on the prevalence, occurrence, and associated risk factors for HIV, HTLV transmission in southern India. Dr. Gifty Immanuel has been awarded the Vijayshree National Award for Best Biomedical Research in 2000 at New Delhi India, hosted by the T.N state governor and dignitaries. Dr. Gifty Immanuel, Director of Center for AIDS and Anti-Viral Research Institute, can be contacted at :- # 37 Tenth Street, Tooveypuram Tuticorin , Tamilnadu INDIA, PIN-628003 Phone :+914612328060 Phone :+914612328686 Fax :+914612335222 E-mail : director@medicalvirology.com






Original Research