Gangtok: As many as 33 new HIV-positive cases were reported in the Northeastern state of Sikkim in the past one year (2018-2019), revealed Sikkim State Aids Control Society project director Sarita Lama while addressing media persons in Gangtok on Wednesday.
The corresponding figure for the previous year was 29.
With these additional figures, the total number of HIV-positive cases registered in the Himalayan state since 1994 has risen to 480. Out of the total HIV-positive cases, 59 people have been identified with full-borne HIV-positive virus.
Out of the total 480 HIV-positive persons, 176 are between 20 and 29 years, 167 patients are in the age group of 30-39 years and the rest of them are either above 40 or below 20 years of age. Up to 104 HIV-positive persons are reported to be dead.
Speaking with media persons on Wednesday, Sikkim State Aids Control Society project director Sarita Lama said that out of all the positive-tested cases, a majority of them have been identified to be sexually transmitted, some of them identified to be transmitted through the usage of unsterilised syringe during drugs usage and a few cases are of parent-to-child transfer.
Lama also informed that the Sikkim State Aids Control Society is observing World Aids Day in state capital Gangtok on December 1 along with the rest of the globe. “The state health and family welfare minister will grace the occasion as the chief guest. Apart from the minister and dignitaries from the state’s government offices, school students and their principals will also be present during the day-long event,” Lama said.
“A multimedia campaign will be launch wherein various rock bands will also take part,” she added.
Incidentally, Sikkim has the second-lowest number of HIV-AIDS patients in the country after Jammu & Kashmir in the past year. The ranking came up during the last biennium report released by the National AIDS Control Society.