NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Authorities in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on Monday ordered an investigation into reports that police attacked and beat female students with wooden batons during a protest demanding action after a spate of campus sex attacks.

Scores of students at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in the northern city of Varanasi - which is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency - began demonstrating on Thursday after a female student said she was molested by three men on the campus.

KADIRI, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Every day the medics quietly enter villages around Kadiri town in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and do their rounds.

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“And in many cases they are so poor that they cannot even afford the bus fare to get to the hospital for check-ups.” The Hospital of Infectious Diseases on the Bathalapalli-Kadiri road is easy to miss.

But it is its discreet location - away from the bustle of the Kadiri town and its big bus terminal - that ensures the steady flow of patients.

The clandestine status of trafficking victims makes them invisible and limits their access to health services, particularly those that focus on HIV/AIDS, campaigners say.

According to government data, Anantapur district has more than 25,000 HIV positive cases - out of a population of 4 million.

“There is no choice, we have to extend our vigil beyond the walls of the hospital,” said Dr Gerardo Álvarez-Uría, the hospital’s director.

“We have created a network of health workers to ensure that nobody is left out of the ambit of diagnosis and treatment.

Run by non-profit Rural Development Trust, the 82-bed unit gets up to half of its patients from neighboring districts, making it one of the key health service providers in the region, besides the government-run hospital in Anantapur.

“While the government provides the Trust hospital with free medicines, testing kits and frequent training, they also have an outreach that ensures patients get treated.” said Anil Kumar, head of the government-run AIDS program in the district.

As well as social stigma, among their biggest challenges is HIV/AIDS, contracted as sex workers.