1269 AIDS infected cases in Himachal

Shimla: As voluntary screening for HIV was increasing in Himachal, incidence of positive cases surfacing, in a three year period, had come down drastically from 1.69 to 0.78 percent and of the 1269 AIDS in the state, as many as 961 had been identified in the last 3 years, information tabled in the Vidhan Sabha by the health minister revealed.

In response to a starred question by Gangu Ram Musafir of congress, health minister Rajiv Bindal in a written reply stated that of the 961 cases detected upto December, 2010 from the year 2008-09, there were as many as 298 cases in Kangra, 238 in Hamirpur, 112 in Bilaspur, 108 each in Mandi and Bilaspur, 50 in Solan, 21 in Shimla, 12 in Chamba, 10 in Kullu and 4 in Sirmaur districts.

No AIDS case in any of the 3 years had been detected in the tribal districts of Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur.

Besides the AIDS infected, in the 3 years under consideration, as many as 228,014 people had voluntarily got themselves screen tested for HIV and 2346 turned out to be HIV positive. Of the 44,387 screen in 2008 there were 748 (1.9%) HIV+ cases, in 2009 of the 81,297 there were 793 (0.98%) and in 2010 of the 102,330 screened there were 805 (0.78%) HIV+ cases.

Number of Integrated Counseling and Testing Centres (ICTC) had increased from 21 to 49 where 235,176 people had been counseled in the period.

Of the 83,884 pregnant women screened 76 were found to be HIV +. For treating HIV and AIDS patients the Anti Retroviral Therapy centers had been increased from one to three which were located in IGMC Shimla, Tanda medical college, Kangra and one at Hamirpur.

Since December 2008, over 70,000 had accessed the Toll Free Helpline Number 1299 which provides information on HIV/AIDS prevention, sexually transmitted infections and blood donation.

An information website www.hpsacs.org had been made functional in February, 2011 – the information stated.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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