As many as 638 people were tested HIV positive from 4th January 2018 to January 2019, as per the data shared by State AIDS Control society Chandigarh. Out of those tested HIV positive, around 11 percent belong to Chandigarh, while the rest are either outsiders or people who have migrated and have slatted in UT. At least 85,109 people were tested for HIV.
‘’HIV camp testing approach has helped us to find every HIV positive person. Many people themselves are coming forward for HIV tests. These progressive signs have helped us to diagnose the disease at the earliest stage, thus helping us in preventing the further spread of the disease,’’ said Dr Vanita Gupta, Project Director, AIDS Control Society Chandigarh.
The AIDS control society has witnessed a rise in the number of people who are coming forward for getting their HIV test done. As per the data, in 2014 only 58,794 people were tested among them 1.3 per cent were tested positive, compared to the 2018-19, in which significant increase was witnessed as 85109 people had done there HIV test, out of which only 0.7% were tested positive.
Dr Vanita told Newsline that AIDS control society has reached a point were either the number of HIV positive cases are declining or they have remained static in past few years.
According to the society 26 pregnant women have been tested positive out 25,054 who got their HIV test done from January 2018 to January 2019. “Among pregnant women we have been able to reduce the number. Now mother to child HIV transmissions has reached to the point zero. The reports which we are receiving, say that non of child is coming HIV positive which is a big successes,’’ she said.
As per the AIDS Control Society data, in last five years 85% of HIV positive, patients were heterosexuals. Five percent cases were homosexuals and four percent cases were caused due to infected Syringe and needle till September 2018.
She told Chandigarh Newsline that free treatment is given to the people who have been tested positive, and if they continuously follow the treatment they will be able to live a normal life. By continuous treatment, the load of HIV virus gets suppressed to the extent, that virus does not come to the bloodstream and at times it becomes undetectable.
From 2014 the numbers of HIV positive cases have consistently dropped. As in 2015-16 only 0.98 percent of those who got their test done were tested positive. 2016-17 yet again saw a slight dip as only 0.78 people were tested positive. ‘’Some of the positive cases are still the victims of unawareness, as they do not have the sufficient knowledge regarding the disease,’’ Dr Vanita said.
We keep running awareness campaigns, about the preventive measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of disease, which includes limiting the sexual partners, get tested and treated for HIV and having less risky sex. Our targeted intervention and project workers are doing work on a daily basis. Our main focus is migrants as most of the HIV positive cases are being found in them, she added.