Mizoram becomes state with highest HIV prevalence rate

Aizawl: The percentage or rate of HIV/AIDS prevalence in Mizoram is 10 times higher than that of the national average, an official said on Tuesday.

Mizoram now has the dubious distinction of being the highest HIV/AIDS prevalent state in the country with over 2.30 per cent of its total 10.91 lakh population (2011 census) being infected.

With 1.45 per cent of its population being infected, Nagaland came second, according to National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO)

The deadly disease has so far claimed 3,506 lives in Mizoram since October 1990 when the first HIV-positive case was reported in the state. 

Quoting a recent survey, Mizoram State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) project director Dr Lalthlengliani said that the percentage of HIV/AIDS incidents in the state is 10 times higher than that of the national average.

She said that the yearly incident rate could not subside despite massive efforts. 

Chaired by state health minister Dr R. Lalthangliana, officials of the concerned departments and representatives of other stakeholders on Tuesday reviewed the present scenario and also held a consultation on how to expedite the harm reduction programme across the state. 

Speaking on the occasion, Lalthangliana urged the people and all concerned departments for a collective effort to fight the menace.

“We can prevent a big disaster if collective efforts are made from the people, churches, NGOs and media to fight the menace of HIV/AIDS as we have done against the Covid-19 pandemic,” the minister said. 

He said that the health department and MSACS alone are not enough to control the high prevalence rate of AIDS in the state. 

“The present scenario of Mizoram is alarming and the situation of the state is also far more serious than other states if the country as a whole is taken into consideration,” Lalthangliana said.

He urged the people to give great concern for Mizoram having the dubious distinction of being the highest HIV/AIDS and cancer prevalent state in the country.

According to MSACS, as many as 25,982 have so far been diagnosed with AIDS and  3,506   died due to the deadly disease from October 1990 till March this year. 

3,506 infected patients are currently availing of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), it said.

The AIDS incident rate was highest among youths in the age group of 25-34 (42.12 %), followed by people in the age group of 35-49 (over 27%), it said.

During fiscal 2021-2022, at least 1,620 people were diagnosed with AIDS against 1,900 in 2020-2021 and 2,338 in 2019-2020, it said. 

State health and family welfare board vice chairman Dr ZR. Thiamsanga, who was present at the meeting, said that about 65 per cent of HIV-positive cases in the state were sexually transmitted, while about 32 per cent of cases were transmitted through sharing needles by intravenous drug users. 

Also Read | Mizoram logs 214 new COVID-19 cases

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