BERHAMPUR: Even as Ganjam has witnessed a decline in number of HIV positive cases, the scenario in the district remains alarming. Of 52,067 HIV patients in the State, 16,515 are in Ganjam with Polasara block registering 1,245 AIDS patients, the maximum in the district. A district AIDS cell report suggests only 318 positive cases were detected from across Ganjam in October this year. But what remains a matter of concern is that 929 pregnant women were found to be infected from 2000 till October this year. As many as 412 people died of the disease during this period.
HIV infected patients are being treated at ART centres at MKCG Medical College and Hospital, Bhanjanagar hospital and link centres at Aska, Polasara and Khallikote. Even as MKCG has provision for testing blood samples, staff crunch remains an area of concern. Sources said posts of 11 laboratory technicians are lying vacant in various blocks and two posts of data entry operators are yet to be filled up at the district AIDS Control Society office in the city.
Health officials said migrant workers from Ganjam often get infected at their workplaces in cities like Surat, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru due to unprotected sex. When they return home, they pass on the disease to their spouses. However, sustained efforts of NACO and State AIDS Control Society are paying off as the district is witnessing a decline in the number of cases in the recent past. Officials said over 13,96,199 people have been counselled for the disease while 12,37,337 tested for HIV from 2000 till October this year.