Manipur tops the list among injecting drug users
Even as the number of HIV-related cases reduces across the country with new cases falling by over 26 per cent, a report by The Hindu says that Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura have emerged as the new hot spots for HIV. Incidences of HIV cases are rising in the northeastern states due to the high-risk behaviour of injecting drug users (IDUs), and unsafe sexual practices, according to the ministry of health and family welfare. Four sites in Mizoram and one in Tripura have higher prevalence of HIV in IDUs. While in rest of India, the HIV prevalence in IDUs is 6.26 per cent, in three places at Aizawl, Champhai and Kolasib, it is 37.44 per cent, 33.06 per cent and 38.14 per cent, respectively.
The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) conducted a biennial study, the HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS), according to which the HIV prevalence is highest in Mizoram (1.19 per cent), Nagaland (0.82 per cent), Meghalaya (0.73 per cent), Tripura (0.56 per cent) and Manipur (0.47 per cent).
According to a survey conducted in December 2017, higher HIV prevalence was recorded among pregnant women visiting ante-natal clinics (ANC) in the northeastern states as against places across India.
Six centres in Mizoram, two in Meghalaya and one in Tripura recorded HIV prevalence of more than 1 per cent, compared with HIV prevalence of 0.28 per cent among pregnant women visiting ANCs in other places in India.
In case of sex workers, prevalence of HIV was as high as 24.68 per cent in Aizawl district compared with 1.6 per cent for other sites in the country.