HIV cases in Assam jails rising: Principal Secretary, Health
Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) detected a total of 20,085 HIV cases in Assam
The Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) has detected a total of 20,085 HIV cases in Assam from 2002 till June 2021. This was expressed in a recent statement by Principal Secretary, Health Department, Anurag Goel.
The Kamrup (M) district has the highest number of 6,888, followed by 4609 in Cachar and 1245 in Dibrugarh, he said. The Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) conducted one-day media advocacy on HIV (Prevention & Control) Act, 2017 and HIV programme implementation on 8 September 2021.
Recently due to index testing of the High-Risk Group (HRG) of people, an increase in the HIV cases has been reported in districts like Morigaon, Nagaon and Nalbari.The Principal Secretary Health Anurag Goel said, "Recently due to index testing of the High-Risk Group (HRG) of people, an increase in the HIV cases has been reported in districts like Morigaon, Nagaon and Nalbari. Although in the aforesaid districts, there were earlier no high HIV prevalence, index testing of the prison inmates (especially the injecting drug users) done in the jails, the cases have increased."
Explaining the index testing, Goel said, "Index testing is done through contact tracings of the partners with whom the prison inmates indulged in high-risk behaviour when they were outside the jails. This has resulted in an increase of HIV cases and ASACS has taken initiatives to ensure that maximum testing is done so there is prompt detection and treatment of those who are detected HIV positive."
He further said that Assam has been able to reduce new HIV infections by 22 per cent.
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