KENDRAPARA: Considered a high-risk district in terms of HIV/AIDS cases, Kendrapara has reported 175 deaths due to the disease since 2003. The coastal district is home to 778 AIDS patients.
Kendrapara CDMO Dr Anita Patnaik said of the 778 affected persons, 474 are males, 256 females and 48 children. She said a large number of youths from the district move to major cities to earn and bring the disease back with them when they return.
In a bid to prevent infected women from giving birth to HIV positive children, the Odisha AIDS Control Society (OACS) has been administering anti-retroviral treatment (ART) drops under its Prevention of Parents to Child Transmission (PPCT) programme to such women. At present, the drops are being administered at the ART centre of SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack but the government has decided to open one such facility at the district headquarters hospital here.
Dr Patnaik, however, said the government hospital at Kendrapara town does not have a CD4 machine at its Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre and this has been hampering treatment of infected persons. The HIV, a retrovirus, destroys T4 lymphocytes and without the CD4 machine, it cannot be ascertained whether a patient is suitable for ART or not.
As part of the government’s strategy to fight the disease, the officials have identified high-risk areas in Pattamundai, Rajnagar, Aul and Rajkanika blocks for focused interventions.
778 patients in the district
474 males, 256 females, 48 children infected with HIV
An ART centre will soon be set up at the DHH