HIV prevalence continues to be cause of worry
DIMAPUR, MARCH 6
THE HIV scenario in the State continues to be alarming. This despite many awareness programmes initiated by the Medical department and NGOs concerned to combat the dreaded disease.
According to a report presented by the District AIDS Programme Control Unit (DAPCU), Dimapur, the last three years, the State has recorded 5070 new HIV+ cases in all the districts. In 2010-11, 1667 people tested HIV+, while in 2011-12 and 2012-13, the number of HIV+ cases stood at 1719 and 1684 respectively. These facts were revealed today during an advocacy campaign on HIV/AIDS, organized by Christ for the Downtrodden Ministry and supported by the Legislators Forum on AIDS, at Industrial Village Razhüphe.
Nagaland is listed as one among the highly affected HIV prevalent states in the country along with Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Among the districts, Dimapur alone recorded almost half of the total affected patients.
In 2010-11, the number of HIV+ patients in Dimapur stood at 912 as compared to the rest of the districts which recorded 755 such cases.
While in 2011-12, the commercial city recorded 822 cases against 897 in other districts. Even in 2012-13, Dimapur with 843+ cases stood above the rest of the districts with 841 such cases.
What could be more threatening with regard to HIV scenario in the State is the increasing rate of deliveries among HIV+ pregnant women.
The number of deliveries of HIV+ women in 2010, 2011 & 2013 stood at 110, 144 and 161 respectively. While the live birth of HIV+ babies was 106, 127 and 145 in the respective years.
The advisable use of condom for protective sex still seems to be an ignored warning among the Nagas as it has been recorded that 89% of HIV transmission (2012-13) was through sexual contact. The transmission from parents to child stood at 5% and 4% through infected needles and syringes and 2% for reasons not specific.
As per the DAPCU report, 74% of HIV patients fall in the age group of 25-49. Between the age group of 15 to 24, it stands at 16%, above 50 years is 5% and below 14 years is 4%.
Out of 10200 registered number of People Living with HIV/AIDS across the State, there are 3859 patients who survive on Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) while 4918 have started on ART as of today.
Addressing the programme, ADC Dimapur Dr Kadambari Bhagat stressed the need for multi-prone strategy to combat HIV/AIDS. She also suggested mainstreaming of all NGOs in order attract the involvement and participation of more people to fight the disease.
Speaking as one of the resource persons, Dr. T Temsu, senior specialist of District Hospital Dimapur, urged the gathering to be good citizens and spread the knowledge and awareness about HIV/AIDS.
The president of DNP+ pointed out the existence of social stigma and discrimination on HIV patients in the Naga society. He cautioned that if the society continues to discriminate against the HIV+ patients, no one reveal their identities which he said will hinder the fight against the disease at large.
“HIV is spreading underneath in our society because of the social stigma. And if this continues, I fear the number of HIV cases instead of falling will only increase,” the DNP+ president said.
The welcome address was delivered by Ato Angami, president of Christ for The Downtrodden Ministry and the programme was chaired by Imtitula Ao.