CHENNAI: The number of people treated for sexually transmitted infections and reproductive tract infections at Sexually Transmitted Infection Clinics increased from 3.55 lakh in 2014 to 5.58 lakh till February 2018, data collected by State AIDS Control Society shows.The data also shows that more number of cases were reported in the adolescent age group 16 to 18 years, the cases increased from 4,285 between April 2014 and March 2015 to 5,462 between April 2017 and February 2018.
Officials say this is due to the awareness and increase in population. The data shows that from April 2014-March 2015 across Tamil Nadu, 3,55,180 people were treated at Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) clinics.Also, the number of patients in the age group of 0-10 years treated at STIs increased from 478 between April 2014 and March 2015 to 784 between April 2017 and February 2018. The number of people in the age group of 11 -15 years also increased from 1,475 to 2,030 for the same period.
From April 2015 to March 2016, 3,90,466 cases were reported and this increased to 4,63,551 in April 2016 to March 2017. From April 2017 to February 2018, 4,58,157 cases were reported.
“The increase in the numbers are because of the population growth and also awareness and screening of more people. This cannot be interpreted as increase in incidence of STIs” said S Sivachandran, Deputy director, STI division of State AIDS Control Society.There are 157 designated STI clinics in Tamil Nadu offering integration of counselling and treatment to the people. “In March, 57 more centres were added . Also, soon we are going to extend counselling and raise awareness on STIs at Primary Health Centres across Tamil Nadu. So, the number of infected cases would further increase,” said Sivachandran.
Sexually Transmitted Infections in the sexual partner increases the risk of acquisition of HIV from an infected partner. Effective control of STIs and Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI) is a strong and most cost effective strategy for reducing and preventing transmission of HIV, say experts.
The number of patients in the age group of 0-10 years treated at STIs increased from 478 between April 2014 and March 2015 to 784 between April 2017 and February 2018. The number of people in the age group of 11 -15 years also increased from 1,475 to 2,030 for the same period.