Thursday, July 07, 2022

State sees 512 new HIV cases in three months

By EMN Updated: Aug 14, 2014 1:40 am


ALTOGETHER 512 new HIV cases were reported in Nagaland in just a span of three months this year.
A Nagaland State AIDS Control Society (NSACS) data revealed that out of 24,872 tests carried out in Integrated Counseling and Testing Centres (ICTCs) across the state in April-June 2014, 512 persons tested positive. The figure is particularly alarming as it shows a rough trend of about 170 new HIV cases per month at an average. It may also be noted that the figures are procured from ICTCs which are linked with government health institutions excluding private hospitals and clinics that run HIV tests.
The same report revealed that Dimapur district leads the district-wise HIV status (ICTC) with over 6000 positive cases recorded between 2006-2014 while Kohima and Tuensang districts trail closely behind with over 2000 cases each. The report was presented by an NSACS official during an advocacy meeting on HIV and AIDS with the Kohima Press Club (KPC) organized by the Network of Naga People Living with HIV/AIDS (NNP+) at LCS Building, Kohima on Wednesday.
The official, in his presentation on HIV/AIDS scenario in Nagaland, stated that the current HIV and AIDS prevalence rate in the state is 0.73%. This is higher than the national prevalence rate 0.27% (2013).
Meanwhile, an introduction and objective of Vihaan Care & Support Centre (CSC) Program was presented by the programme officer, Shanpanthung. He highlighted that the Vihaan program is a national initiative to establish CSCs across India to provide expanded access to key services, increase treatment adherence, reduce stigma and discrimination and improve the quality of life for People Living with HIV (PLHIV). He stated that CSC services include counseling, support, outreach such as follow-up with PLHIVs on ART, tracking, referrals and linkages to PLHIVs so that they may access and avail government facilities and welfare schemes available for them.
The program officer informed that four CSCs have been set up since the launch of the Vihaan program in the state in 2013. These centres are located in Kohima (near Popular Bakery), Dimapur (Naharbari), Tuensang (near Civil Hospital), Mokokchung (near Civil Hospital) and Kiphire (near Civil Hospital.
Svavritti Project state coordinator, Bendang also highlighted that the Svavritti Project facilitates access to schemes and entitlements including social, economic and legal protection for AIDS affected families, sexual/gender minorities, female sex workers and injecting drug users in 30 backward districts of eight Indian states. The focal districts in Nagaland are Wokha, Tuensang and Kiphire districts.
KPC president Xavier Rutsa, in his brief address, appreciated the NNP+ for initiating the advocacy programme with the media fraternity. He pointed out the need to have more regular meetings so that more awareness can be created and the actual scenario of HIV and AIDS in the state can be projected. He also underscored the need for sensitization on HIV and AIDS related terminology.
During the discussion hour, it was pointed out that NGOs and the media have to work closely together so that the latter can voice issues as well as disseminate information and awareness to the masses, particularly the rural populace. It was also discussed that portraying proper information can help PLHIVs to open up and step forward and avail existing services and care. NNP+ members shared that while it is encouraging that ART centres are being set up across the state, shortage of treatment drugs and facilities are a problem that PLHIVs face constantly, especially those from far flung rural areas. It was agreed that when any new national program is launched in the state, uniformity in regards to facilities should be maintained in line with the rest of the country. The need to seriously discuss on the funding patterns for HIV and AIDS related schemes and programs for maintenance of transparency was also considered.

By EMN Updated: Aug 14, 2014 1:40:28 am