Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state in the country accounting for 16.4 per cent of the country’s population. It is also the fourth largest state in geographical area covering 9% of the country’s geographical area. Uttar Pradesh is a high vulnerable state with HIV prevalence of 0.18% among the ANC population as per the annual sentinel surveillance of 2008. The ANC prevalence has remained almost at the same level whereas HIV prevalence among the High Risk Groups and STI population has shown some decline yet continues to be high requiring a more focussed approach to check the spread of the virus while there has been marked prevalence amongst migrants and their families.

Sero-positivity in STD/ANC Sentinel Sites (1998-2008)
[All figures in percentage]

Fig.1 Sero-positivity in STD/ANC Sentinel Sites (1998-2008)

Uttar Pradesh is situated in the Central Part of North India and shares an international border with Nepal and common boundaries with several other Indian states like Uttarakhand in the North; Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan in the West; Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in the South and Bihar and Jharkhand in the east. After the bifurcation of the state in 2000 (into Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh), it is now predominantly in the Indo-Gangetic Plains.

Because of its population – numbers and distribution – UttarPradesh is politically one of the most important states of the country, though it is economically among the lower middle ranking states of the country. When socio-economic indicators are concerned it is among the poorest. Casteism, feudalism and patriarchy still reign in the state, and the socio-economic status of socially marginalised and backward classes, the landless and of women are consequently very poor.