Mapping and population size estimation of high risk group for HIV begins in Aizawl

Aizawl: Mapping and population size estimation, a census programme initiated by National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to estimate the high risk group for HIV in the country, has been launched in Aizawl district on Friday.

Mapping and population size estimation programme of HIV high risk group like Female Sex Workers (FSW), Men having sex with men (MSM) and Injected Drug Users (IDU) for Aizawl district was opened by Aizawl district additional deputy commissioner K Vanlalruati at a function held here.

Vanlalruati pointed out that community advisory board involving Mizoram State AIDS Control Society (MSACS), Aizawl district superintendent of police, NGOs and Aizawl City Local Council Association was set up under district AIDS control officer to execute the census.

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She said similar programmes will be launched in other district of the state.

According to sources at MSACS, as many as 2,06,419 blood samples were tested in Aizawl district alone during April to June this year, of which 9,067 people, including 3248 (35.82%) females, were diagnosed with HIV positive.

Of the new 9,067 HIV patients, only 2129 (23.37) are taking Anti-Viral Therapy (ART), it said.

The sources also said that testing of blood samples for HIV could not be expedited during the current fiscal due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Out of the 684 IDUs, whose blood samples were tested during this year, 26 were found infected with HIV while none of the samples of 21 FSW and 108 MSM were found positive for HIV, sources added.

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Till June this year, at least 5,000 Injecting Drug Users has been identified in Aizawl district alone, 583 Men having sex with men and 252 female sex workers.

With more than two per cent of its population being infected, Mizoram is currently being dubbed the highest AIDS-prevalent state in the country.

More than 21,500 AIDS cases have been detected and over 2,400 died due to the deadly disease since October 1990 when the first HIV positive case was detected in the state, sources further added.

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