Rise in detection of HIV positive cases in Tripura, Assam

GUWAHATI: Even though Assam is still in the bracket of the low prevalence state with regard to incidents of HIV/AIDS cases, the state has witnessed an increase in the number of people detected with the virus in the past years.
The adult HIV prevalence in Assam has increased from 0.04% in 2007 to 0.06% in 2015, as per data released by Assam State AIDS Control Society here on Wednesday on the eve of World AIDS Day.
The project director of Assam State Aids Control Society (ASACS), Manabendra Pratap Singh said, “The higher number of HIV cases does not necessarily mean higher infection, though it could be the case. The higher numbers of cases generally imply more detection.”
He added that stigma attached to the disease still remained a hurdle in fighting it, though sustained campaigns were on to create awareness among the people.
Manipur continued to have the highest estimated adult HIV prevalence in the country at 1.15% in 2015 against the national average of 0.26%. In Assam, 928 new HIV infection cases have been detected in 2015, with an estimated 12,090 people living with HIV in 2015 in the state.
The report released by the ASACS further said the HIV epidemic in the state is concentrated among the high risk groups population of female sex workers (FSW) (0.46%), Men having sex with men (MSM) (1.40%) and Injecting Drug users (IDU) (1.46%).
However, there is no available data on the bridge population and its possible role in spread of infection from the high risk groups to the general population.
In an alarming trend for the state, data collected from three recent rounds of HIV Sentinel Surveillance among the Ante-natal clinic attendees, a rising trend of HIV infection has been noted among pregnant women, while it has been a stable trend among the general population.
The main route of transmission of HIV infection is heterosexual, with 86.4% infections acquired through this route.
District wise figures showed that Kamrup (metro) district has the highest percentage of HIV positive cases, accounting for 38% of total detected cases in the state, followed by Cachar, Dibrugarh and Nagaon districts.
Assam has recorded 928 new HIV cases with an estimated 12,090 people living with HIV(PLHA) last year, according to Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS). “People with HIV may have increased due to more people coming for testing.
But, Assam is categorised as a low HIV prevalence state with an estimated adult prevalence of 0.06 per cent, lower than the national prevalence of 0.26 per cent,” ASACS Project Director Manvendra Pratap Singh said.

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