Northeast India Knowledge Network


Project Details

The Northeast India Knowledge Network grant was awarded to the Nossal Institute Limited by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2009. The original focus of the grant was research and documentation of the HIV epidemic and response in two Northeast Indian states, Manipur and Nagaland, where the HIV epidemic and illicit injecting drug use are major public health problems. To realise the goals of this grant we have partnered with a number of Indian organisations including the Emmanuel Hospital Association, the Indian Council of Medical Research in Dibrugarh, the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Imphal, and the Public Health Foundation of India. Collectively we produced nine monographs and more than twenty peer-reviewed publications.

In 2014 the Gates Foundation provided supplementary funds to facilitate the scale-up of methadone treatment for people who are opiate dependent and a prospective longitudinal cohort study of clients attending an opioid substitution therapy programme at RIMS in Manipur. This study is currently being implemented and we anticipate that data collection will be completed in 2017.

For further information about the Northeast India Knowledge Network please contact the Technical Director, Associate Professor Michelle Kermode (


Current Australian team

  • Associate Professor Michelle Kermode
  • Dr Matthew Reeve - Senior Project Officer
  • Ms Lisa Fitzgerald - Project Officer

Current Indian team

  • Professor RK Lenin Singh - Department of Psychiatry - Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Manipur
  • Mr Robedi Sharma - Research Officer (RIMS)
  • Mr Lolly Angom - Research Assistant (RIMS)


  • National AIDS Control Organisation India
  • Regional Institute for Medical Sciences, Manipur, India
  • National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
  • Public Health Foundation of India
  • Emmanuel Hospital Association


Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Research Outcomes

1. Kermode M, Nuken A, Medhi GK, Sharma HU, Mahanta J. Burden of hepatitis C among people who inject drugs in Manipur highlights the urgent need to redress the global treatment gap. Indian Journal of Medical Research [in press]

2. Kermode M, Armstrong G, Medhi GK, Humtsoe C, Langkham B, Mahanta J. Sexual behaviour of men who inject drugs in Northeast India. Harm Reduction Journal 2015 Mar 4;12(1):4. doi: 10.1186/s12954-015-0038-1

3. O’Halloran A, Armstrong G, Medhi GK, Sono CZ, Mahanta J, Kermode M. HIV risks vary according to type of sex work in a cross-sectional study from Nagaland, India. BMC Women’s Health 2014 Nov 12; 14(1):133. [Epub ahead of print]

4. Armstrong G, Medhi GK, Mahanta J, Paranjape RS, Kermode M. Undiagnosed HIV among people who inject drugs in Manipur, India. AIDS Care 2015. 27(3): 288-92

5. Armstrong G, Nuken A, Medhi GK, Mahanta J, Kermode M. Effect of age on injecting and sexual risk behaviours among people who inject drugs in Manipur and Nagaland, Northeast India. Harm Reduction Journal 2014. Oct 13;11(1):27. doi: 10.1186/1477-7517-11-27

6. Nuken A, Kermode M, Armstrong G, Saggurti N, Medhi GK. Alcohol and condom use among HIV positive and HIV negative female sex workers in Nagaland, India. International Journal of STDs and AIDS 2013. 24(9): 695-702

7. Armstrong G, Medhi GK, Kermode M, Mahanta J, Goswami P, Paranjape RS. Exposure to HIV prevention programmes associated with improved condom use and uptake of HIV testing by female sex workers in Nagaland, Northeast India. BMC Public Health 2013. 13:476. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-476

8. Armstrong G, Nuken A, Samson L, Singh S, Jorm AF, Kermode M. Quality of life, depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation among men who inject drugs in Delhi, India. BMC Psychiatry 2013.13(1):151.

9. Kermode M, Songput CH, Sono CZ, Devine A. Falling through the cracks: a qualitative study of HIV risks among women who use drugs and alcohol in Northeast India. International Health and Human Rights 2013. Jan 29;13:9. doi: 10.1186/1472-698X-13-9

10. Shohu K, Humtsoe C, Saggurti N, Sabarwal S, Mahapatra B, Kermode M. Understanding the association between injecting and sexual risk behaviors of injecting drug users in Manipur and Nagaland, India. Harm Reduction Journal 2012 Dec 18;9:40. doi: 10.1186/1477-7517-9-40

11. Kermode M, Songput CH, Sono CZ, Jamir TN, Devine A. Meeting the needs of women who use drugs and alcohol in North-east India - a challenge for HIV prevention services. BMC Public Health 2012. 12:825

12. Medhi GK, Mahanta J, Kermode M, Paranjape RS, Adhikary R, Phukan SK, Ngully P. Factors associated with history of drug use among female sex workers (FSW) in a high HIV prevalence state of India. BMC Public Health 2012. 12(1): 273

13. Armstrong G, Humtsoe C, Kermode M. HIV risk behaviours among injecting drug users in Northeast India following scale-up of a targeted HIV prevention programme. BMC Public Health 2011. 11 (Suppl 6): S8

14. Kermode M, Armstrong G, Waribam S. Longer-term follow-up of clients from a community-based opioid substitution therapy program in Manipur. Indian Journal of Medical Research 2011; 134: 732-34

15. Kermode M, Crofts N, Kumar MS, Dorabjee J. Evidence supports scale-up of OST for opiate-dependent drug users in resource-poor settings. Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 2011; 89(4): 243

16. Armstrong G, Kermode M, Sharma C, Langkham B, Crofts N. Opioid substitution therapy in Manipur and Nagaland, north-east India: operational research in action. Harm Reduction Journal 2010. 7(1): 29

17. Kermode M, Deutschmann P, Arunkumar MC, Manning G. Injecting drug use and HIV in Manipur and Nagaland: negotiating a public health response in a complex environment. South Asian History and Culture 2010; 1(2): 239-249

Research Group

Maternal, Sexual and Reproductive Health

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health, Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care, Screening and early detection of disease

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Nossal Institute for Global Health

Unit / Centre

Maternal, Sexual and Reproductive Health

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