Representational image Credit: Representational image

Aizawl: The Mizoram government on Thursday sought help from civil society groups and churches to fight HIV/AIDS, which is creating a great concern, on a war footing.

State health minister Dr R Lalthangliana on Thursday invited leaders of the central committee of Young Mizo Association or Central YMA at his office chamber to discuss the high prevalence of HIV in the state, official sources said.

Three days before this, the minister also met leaders of Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC), a conglomerate of major churches in Mizoram, seeking their help to fight the menace.

During his meeting with the NGO leaders, Lalthangliana expressed concern about the high prevalent of AIDS in the state, the sources said.

Although Mizoram has a good record in health index, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS has accelerated at alarming rate since the last few years, he said.

It has been estimated that at least 9 people are found living with HIV positive in Mizoram every day, the minister said quoting the data released by National AIDS Control Organisation.

Stating that the YMA would not keep itself aloof from the fight, Central YMA president Vanlalruata said that they will extend all possible helps to the government. The meeting was also attended by officials of Mizoram Sate AIDS Control Society (MSACS).

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Among others, the meeting agendas included educating people about AIDS in YMA magazines and spreading awareness among YMA members at funeral services, organising sensitisation programme on HIV/AIDS in all YMA branches within Aizawl city, organising general blood testing programme with the help of YMA and to find out infected patients who have stopped taking ART medicine with the help of YMA.

The Christian-dominated Mizoram, which shares porous borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh, has the dubious distinction of being the highest HIV prevalent state in the country, followed by Manipur and Nagaland.

According to MSACS project director Dr Lalthlengliani, nearly 2,000 people have died due to AIDS in Mizoram since the first case was detected in October 1990 and a total of 19,631 HIV cases had been detected in the state till date.

She said that at least 2.04% of Mizoram’s population were found living with HIV positive against the national average of 0.2%. She added that more than 67% of HIV-positive cases were transmitted through unprotected sex, while about 28.12% cases were infected through sharing needles by intravenous drug users.

Commencing from October 11, the state government has been organising sensitisation programme on AIDS in all government offices in the state capital.

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