Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Meghalaya logs increasing trend of new HIV infection


Meghalaya is one of the states in India with an increasing trend of new HIV infection, a health official said on Thursday.
“The adult HIV prevalence rate in Meghalaya is 0.42 per cent which is higher than the national average which stands at .21 percent,” Project Director, Meghalaya AIDS Control Society, B Decruse said.
Speaking on the occasion of World AIDS day, Decruse said, “An estimated number of People living with HIV is 8692, out of those 4996 know their status, 3718 are on Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) 2356 are virally suppressed.”
Stating that HIV and AIDS can be controlled if inequalities in the society are addressed and tackled, principal secretary, health and family welfare Sampath Kumar, said: “We need to be proactive in our support to bring change in attitude towards HIV and people living with HIV. Issues and challenges related to stigma and discrimination must be addressed by all communities to ensure equality.”
Expressing concern over teenage pregnancy in the state and this youth run the risk of being infected with HIV, Kumar urged all communities to create more awareness to safeguard the youths from HIV and other sexually transmitted Infections.
Moreover, the issue of intravenous drug abuse is also an area of concern through which an individual can be infected through use of shared syringes. Meghalaya has also seen a rise in drug abuse, which is a matter of concern.
Meanwhile, Z Sangma, who was diagnosed with HIV in 2019, applauded the healthcare providers and also the members of the Meghalaya State Network of Positive People for their tireless support.
“I have come to a stage whereby I am virally suppressed and I am now healthy because I take ART regularly”. Sangma urged the people who do not know their status to get themselves tested and even if found positive, to step forward and take ART regularly.
“We are always there to help and support you”, he assured.

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