NewZNew (Chandigarh) : “The major cause of HIV in Chandigarh is unsafe sex. Research has shown that unprotected sex is the reason behind 89 per cent HIV cases in the city. It is a major threat and more awareness is needed among high risk groups. However, the HIV positivity amongst blood donors is very low at 0.07 per cent, which ensures that safe blood is available to the community.”
This was stated in a press release issued here by Max Super Speciality Hospital (MSSH), Mohali on World AIDS Day today. Dr. Sumit Khetrapal, Consultant, Internal Medicine, MSSH observed that the number of HIV-AIDS cases in Chandigarh has witnessed a decline over the years. 75 AIDS cases have been reported from the city till October this year as opposed to 122 cases in 2012, yet we must try to eradicate this disease from our society, he exhorted.
“The total number of cases reported in the city is 647, out of which 320 are from Haryana and 210 from Punjab. The residents of Chandigarh constitute 11 per cent of the total cases, mostly which are transmitted through unsafe sexual intercourse.”
Dr G P Malik, Medical Advisor, MSSH said that according to India’s National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), the bulk of HIV infections in India occurred during unprotected heterosexual intercourse. Consequently, and as the epidemic has matured, women accounted for a growing proportion of people living with HIV, especially in rural areas.”
Dispelling myths surrounding AIDS, Dr. Sachin Pandove, Consultant, Internal Medicine, MSSH said that AIDs would never spread through a hand shake, hug, sneeze, unbroken skin touch or the use of same toilet. There were other several risk factors such as unsafe sex, injection drug user (IDU), pre-existing STD, widespread stigma associated with the disease etc. put Indians in danger of experiencing rapid spread of HIV. In India, sexual transmission was responsible for 88.2 percent of reported HIV cases and HIV prevalence was high among sex workers.
India has the 3rd highest number of people living with HIV in the world with 2.1 million Indians accounting for about four out of 10 people infected with the deadly virus in the Asia. It’s estimated that out of these 61% are male, 39% are female and 3.5% are children. HIV treatment coverage is only 36 per cent in India, where 51 per cent of AIDS—related deaths occur. India has witnessed a 38 per cent decline in AIDS related deaths between 2005 and 2013 due to major scale up of access to HIV treatment.
More than 1 million people in India stricken with HIV and AIDS have no access to ARTs/ AIDS Treatment. Part of the problem is that some virus-carriers feel too stigmatized to approach medical facilities, but a larger issue is cost.The proportions of people who do not have access to antiretroviral therapy treatment are 64 per cent in India.
Stable to declining trends in HIV prevalence among the young population (15-24 yrs) have been noted in most of the states with high prevalence rates of AIDs. However, low prevalence states of Chandigarh, Orissa, Kerala, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya show rising trends in adult HIV prevalence in the last four years. Four basic approaches to control AIDS is-Prevention, Antiretroviral Treatment, Specific prophylaxis and Primary Health Care.
- Media Consultant : Jagmeet Singh Ghuman