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AIDS making inroads in Assam

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  1 Dec 2015 12:00 AM GMT

38 % HIV positive cases detected in Kamrup (metro); Cachar, Dibrugarh and gaon follow

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, Nov 30: Ahead of the World AIDS Day, a report by the Assam State AIDS Control Society has thrown up some shocking statistics regarding the status of the disease in the State.

The adult HIV prevalence in the State has increased from 0.04 per cent in 2007 to 0.07 per cent in 2011.

Categorized as a highly vulnerable State, Assam had 12,804 people living with HIV in 2011.

Alysis of district level data shows that till September this year, about 38 per cent of the HIV positive cases were detected in Kamrup (metro) district alone, followed by Cachar, Dibrugarh and gaon. Chirang district had the lowest prevalence.

The report indicated that there was a rising trend of HIV positivity among pregnt women.

The vulnerability of the State stems from the fact that it is a gateway to the Northeastern states and is surrounded by high prevalence states like Manipur, Mizoram and galand. "A large number of people from the State are going to big cities for employment and getting involved in high-risk behavior. Also a large number of female migrants from other states, West Bengal and Nepal have come here for employment and education," the report said.

Evidence shows that the HIV epidemic in the State is concentrated among the high-risk group population of female sex workers, men-having-sex-with-men (MSM) and injecting drug users.

A total of 8,049 patients have registered themselves with the six anti-retroviral therapy centers in the State, of whom 3,583 are alive.

Manipur has the highest estimated adult HIV prevalence in the country. Though the infections are decreasing in the high prevalence states of Manipur, Mizoram and galand, the report indicated that the trend was increasing in the neighbouring states like Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Aruchal Pradesh. In fact, in the states of Assam and Tripura, the rate of increase in annual new HIV infections is higher that the three highest HIV prevalence states of the region.

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