TODAY -
Rate of HIV/AIDS positives still increases
1,436 people tested positive for HIV in 5 months

Source: Hueiyen News Service / Pramod Ningomba

Imphal, November 10 2009: The high rate of awareness on HIV/AIDS did not deter the number of people living with HIV and AIDS to decline in the state.

According to a report of the National Family Health Survey, the awareness level on HIV/AIDS among the people of the state is 99%.Official report maintained by the Manipur AIDS Control Society (MACS) said that 1,436 people of the state were tested positive during the period from April 2009 to September 2009 .

This shows that a thousand and half people were tested positive within a span of five months.

Altogether, 26,240 people were tested during the period.

This may be compared with 1,961 people tested positive out of 50,034 people being tested during the period from June 2008 to March 2009 .

The increase in the number of HIV+ people is attributed to the lack of comprehensive knowledge on HIV/AIDS among the people.

According to Project Director of MACS, Dr Kh Pramodkumar, only 45-50% of the people have the comprehensive knowledge on HIV/AIDS though the awareness is spread to 99% of the total population.

It is pertinent to mention that around 3,38,203 individuals blood samples have been tested in the state since 1986 till 2009.Among these populations, 33,408 people were tested to be positive for HIV while 4,363 people are said to be living with AIDS.

Deputy Director (Technical) MACS, Abhiram Mongjam said that the fatality rate of people living with AIDS and the number of people tested positive for HIV have witnessed a slight declination since the launching of providing Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) treatment in 2004 .

"This shows that MACS has successfully implemented HIV/AIDS related programmes in the state," Abhiram Mongjam said.

According to latest official record of MACS, around 15,356 people living with HIV and AIDS have been registered at various ART Centres since April 2004 .

Among them, 5,778 people living with HIV and AIDS (including 3,111 males, 2,210 females 22 transgender, 246 male children, 189 female children) are regular users of ART.

Even as there are over 30,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, only half of them have been registered at the seven ART centres of the state.

The seven ART centres are at RIMS hospital, JN Hospital, ART centre Churachandpur, MSF Churachandpur, ART centre Ukhrul, ART centre Thoubal, and ART centre Chandel.

Interacting with this reporter on the matter, Dr Priyokumar said the unregistered people living with HIV/AIDS would serve as sincere agents in spreading the disease.

He said, they (unregistered patients) need to be traced.

He also noted that the spread of HIV/AIDS through IDUs has declined while the spread of the disease through heterosexuals has increased.

This indicates that there is a defect in the implementation of AIDS programmes.

He added that the defect should be detected at the earliest.


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