PUDUCHERRY: HIV prevalence is declining in the Union Territory as the disease has come down to lower risk from moderate risk earlier, said Director of Health and Family Welfare Dr K V Raman at a function organised on the occasion of World AIDS by the Pondicherry AIDS Control Society at Rajiv Gandhi Women and Children Hospital on Monday.
It has reached zero among ante-natal mothers from 0.13 per cent in 2010-2011, he said highlighting the current theme of World AIDS Day, “Getting to Zero”.
In high-risk groups, the rate of the disease fell from 1.94 per cent in 2004 to 1.21 per cent in 2010-2011 among female sex workers; and from 5.22 per cent in 2004 to 1.21 per cent in 2010-11 among men having sex with men.
Further, it fell from 6.31 per cent in 2004 to 2.02 per cent among STD clinics. The number of positive persons has come down from 699 (0.98 per cent) in 2012-2013 to 635 (0.65 per cent) in 2013-2014 in Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre(ICTC).
The HIV-testing centre at JIPMER was being upgraded, said Dr Raman. He urged voluntary groups to come forward to give nutritious food to children with HIV.
A fund of `4.78 crore has been provided this year under the HIV/AIDS control programme.
Chief Minister N Rangasamy, who was slated to chair the function and flag off the publicity vehicle, did not turn up.
A rally was taken out by Mahatma Gandhi Medical College, Indira Gandhi Institute of Dental Sciences and Kasturba Gandhi Nursing College from the city centre, carrying awareness slogans on HIV/AIDS. The participants distributed pamphlets on prevention of HIV/AIDS as well of protection of persons affected with HIV/AIDS. The rally proceeded through Kamarajar Salai, Jawarhalal Nehru Street, Bussy Street, St.Angee Street and reached Gandhi Thidal at Pondicherry Beach Road.
At Gandhi Thidal, students enacted a skit on prevention of HIV and protection of HIV- infected persons.
The idea behind this play was to enact on how to safeguard the younger generation from the threat of HIV/AIDS and also to spread the message that the infected persons should not be discriminated by society.