A total of 1,400 samples were collected and tested across 8 districts of the state on Monday Credit: Representational image

Agartala: The Tripura State AIDS Control Society (TACS) has launched a massive drive across all 8 districts of the state. This comes two weeks after chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb directed the officials to adopt a plan to make the state HIV-free.

On Monday, 1,400 samples were collected and tested across eight districts of the state. This test requires only 15 minutes, as the results of the sample collection are available immediately with the help of the specific kit.

On December 1, on the occasion of World AIDS Day, Chief Minister Biplab Deb had expressed his desire to make Tripura an HIV-free state and gave directions to reach that goal. His suggestion was to make arrangements for identifying AIDS patients through mass tests in mission mode across Tripura.

Deb said that as the HIV infection is increasing, it is necessary to go beyond the conventional testing method and identify the patients.

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Following the directive of the Chief Minister, the Tripura State AIDS Control Society have started the drive for HIV testing at various railway stations and bus stands for the next one month from Monday.

Speaking with EastMojo, an official of the Tripura State AIDS Control Society said that a total of 1400 samples were tested on the first day in 18 different locations across all 8 districts of Tripura.

“Consent is required for HIV testing as it is not possible in the normal process like testing for other diseases. Therefore, individual testing may take some time”, the official said.

He also informed that in the second phase, HIV testing will be conducted extensively across Tripura on December 18. He also hoped that people in number would participate during the drive.

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“If an HIV-infected patient is identified at an early stage, it is possible to be cure him/her through proper treatment. Therefore we have taken the mass-examination initiatives. This special initiative is due to the increasing number of HIV infected people,” the official said.

According to the latest data released by the TACS, a total of 1,916 persons are AIDS patients, which includes 690 females, 1,226 male and 28 children below the age group of seven.

The positive rate in the state stands at 0.36 percent, while during the last six months a total of 65,352 samples were tested of which 237 persons tested positive for AIDS.

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