Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Sex primary cause of HIV in Nagaland

Staff Reporter

Sexual route has been reported as the primary source of transmission of HIV & AIDS in Nagaland, informed PATH, state program officer, Temjennunsang.
It may be noted that the state has prevalence rate of 1.44% among adult population and has been ranked second in the country in HIV prevalence among adult population in HIV sentinel surveillance (HSS), 2020.
Temjennunsang said in the past the main source of transmission was through drug use and mostly prevalent among the Injection Drug Users (IDUs). However, he said at present HIV was primarily transmitted among the youth through sexual intercourse.
He was speaking on the topic, “Youth and HIV” at the 10th multimedia campaign – an awareness through Music organised by Nagaland state AIDS control society under the theme, “HIV prevention starts with me” at Town Hall, Dimapur, Friday.
Underscoring the need to create awareness and educate the youth on the issue, Temjennungsang said HIV & AIDS among the youth was “bigger problem” as the highest percentage of new infection was diagnosed among the age group of 15-24 years. “The present generation youth are those who have never known a world without HIV & AIDS. HIV is having a significant impact on young people among whom the rate of new diagnosis is very high,” said Temjennungsang.
He informed that globally young people account for 40 percent of all new HIV infections, and each day more than 2400 young people are infected with HIV and that two out of every seven new HIV infections are among young people.
Lamenting that nearly half of young people with HIV do not know that they were infected, Temjennungsang cited low perception of risk, low rates of testing, low rate of condom usage, number of sexual partners, substance abuse, stigma around HIV and inadequate sex education as some of the reasons.
In order to understand the risk and protect against HIV, he said there was a need to educate the youth on the subject, teach them the basic facts about HIV transmission, testing and prevention, encourage them to be open and not shy away and making HIV testing a part of their routine health care.
Earlier, speaking on the significance of the campaign, District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit (DAPCU) Orenthung Ngulie said the campaign aims to capitalize on the popularity of music by creating awareness on HIV and AIDs among the youth.
He said campaign was strategized based on the popularity of youth driven activities like music, sports etc. where most of the youths are influenced through these activities.
Meanwhile, Next to Blue Moon (M2BM) band was declared the winner of the band competition and Code XXVII Band and Pineapple Express bagged the first and second runners up positions respectively.

Must Read