Bhubaneswar: About 42,998 HIV positive patients were identified in Odisha, while Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s home district Ganjam topped in the list with 14,387 HIV/AIDS infected persons so far.
The survey report ahead of World AIDS Day, which is observed on December 1 every year, shows that the number is rising in the district every year despite the awareness programmes launched by the government.
While the number is decreasing slowly in the country, which registers 2.39 million cases so far, the rise in the number in Ganjam raises a big concern.
According to the report by Odisha State AIDS Control Society, total 42,998 persons were detected with HIV positive in Odisha, out of which 2,277 were women. While Odisha registered 3,479 new cases in 2013, 3,357 in 2014, 3,066 in 2015 and 3,369 in 2016, 185 pregnant women were infected with HIV/AIDS in 2016.
Total 14,387 HIV positive patients were identified in Ganjam district so far. This year, 802 new cases were added, out of which the number of pregnant women infected with the deadly virus was 47. While 2,205 patients were identified in Koraput till the date, 148 were identified in 2016.
According to report, the highest number of persons infected with HIV postive was between the age group 25-49. While the number of HIV patients under this age group was 29,194 (78%) during the survey between 2002-2016, the patients under the age group of 15-24 was 9%, patients below 14 years of age was 7% and patients above 50 years of age was 6% in Odisha. The chief reason behind the growing number of HIV/AIDS patients is unsafe sex.
Besides, use of non-sterilized syringe and homo sexuality are the other reasons for the spread of the disease.
Out of a total number of patients in the state, 87 percent (21,400 male and 11,533 female) have been affected due to unsafe sex while 6 percent persons have inherited the disease from their parents. While 2,411 were infected due to HIV infected syringe or needles, 460 persons were affected due to transmission of HIV-infected blood into body.
Several programmes including Targeted Interventions (TIs) have been undertaken by Odisha government to control HIV/AIDS. Total 12 TIs are functioning across the state for sex workers.
Similarly, two TIs are working for homosexuals, 21 Core composite TIs for multiple core groups, 6 TIs for persons consuming drugs through injections, 2 TIs for truck drivers, 1 TI for transgenders and 9 TIs for immigrants in Odisha.