Guwahati: Northeast states have emerged as some of the worst performers in the fight against HIV/AIDS, according to the latest report of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).
The AIDS-related mortality per 1,00,000 population in India is highest in Manipur (36.86) followed by Mizoram (28.34), Nagaland (26.20), Andhra Pradesh (21.76), Puducherry (15.33), Meghalaya (11.08) and Telangana (10.79).
The performance of Northeast India is all the more worrying since annual new HIV infections have decreased by 37% at a national level since 2010. The decline in annual new HIV infections has been noted in all states and UTs except for Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Chandigarh. The biggest decline occurred in Karnataka (75%), followed by Himachal Pradesh (74%) and Andhra Pradesh (65%).
HIV incidence per 1,000 uninfected population in 2019 was highest in Mizoram (1.18 per 1,000 uninfected population) followed by Nagaland (0.73) and Manipur (0.34). Meghalaya (0.23) also had an HIV incidence higher than the national average (0.05).
Alok Saxena, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in his observation which was incorporated in the NACO report, said evidence has emerged globally that HIV-infected people are more at COVID-19 death risk as compared to HIV-negative patients.
The report also added that the trend of Intravenous Drug Users (IDU) is rising among the youth in several Northeastern states, especially in Mizoram and Tripura.
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