Though HIV cases decline in Odisha, challenges persist

While highest of 4,249 persons were detected with the virus in 2018, as many as 3,198 people, including 192 pregnant women, were diagnosed with the disease till end of October.

Published: 02nd December 2019 11:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd December 2019 11:40 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Killer AIDS continues to spread its tentacles in Odisha from where thousands of youth migrate to neighbouring States in search of jobs and livelihood. As per the statistics available with Odisha State AIDS Control Society though the number of HIV positive cases is on the downward trend, the rate of decline is not encouraging despite awareness campaigns being carried out.

The State has registered a total 49,661 HIV positive cases, from 2005 when the screening was started till October this year. While highest of 4,249 persons were detected with the virus in 2018, as many as 3,198 people, including 192 pregnant women, were diagnosed with the disease till end of October.

The number of HIV positive cases was 3,927 and 3,892 in 2017 and 2016 respectively. What has led to the concern is that despite intense awareness campaigns transmission through sexual relation (88 per cent) continued to top the chart.

Of 49,661 HIV positive cases, highest 35,963 persons in the age group of 25 to 49 were found to be infected with the disease, followed by 4,454 persons between 15 and 24 years and 3,302 were above 50 years.

While Ganjam topped the list of districts with highest HIV positive cases of 15,738 (31.7 pc of total affected), Boudh was at the bottom with only 68 cases. Cuttack recorded 6,739 cases, Sambalpur 3,034 cases, Khurda 2,836 cases, Koraput 2,512 cases, Angul 1,797 cases, Balasore 1,585 cases and Balangir reported 1,504 cases. Statistics revealed that so far blood samples of over 50 lakh people have been tested over the years and 30,914 patients are on anti-retroviral therapy (ART).

Health and Family Welfare Secretary Dr Pramod Kumar Mehrda said the HIV prevalence rate is declining and the State has set a target to eradicate HIV/AIDS completely by 2030. “Since people with HIV and TB are at the high risk of morbidity, special attention has been given to their screening through ART centres and anti-retroviral drugs. Presently, there are 15 ART centres in the State while a new one at the medical college and hospital in Mayurbhanj has been planned,” he said.

The State Government introduced braille and sign language campaign materials on the occasion of World AIDS Day on Sunday. Odisha is the first State to launch such learning material in braille for visually-impaired persons.

Virus trends

  • 3,927 in 2017
  • 3,892 in 2016
  • 4,249 detected in 2018
  • 3,198 till October-end
  • 88 per cent cases sexually transmitted
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