Mizoram had the highest adult HIV prevalence among states in India last year with the infection being detected in 2.04 per cent of the people whose blood samples were tested, a Mizoram State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) official said on Wednesday.
He said 18,081 people in the were found HIV positive in Mizoram between October 1990 and August this year. The state has a total population of around 11 lakh.
On November 16 last year, the Mizoram assembly was informed that 14,632 HIV positive people were identified in the state.
Mizoram was one of the five states where the number of new infection cases increased, though such cases are declining nationally, the HIV Estimations 2017 report released by National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) stated.
“According to the India HIV Estimations 2017 Technical Report, Mizoram ranked first in the country at 2.04 per cent HIV positives detected from the number of people whose blood samples were tested,” the official said.
Mizoram is followed by Manipur at 1.43 per cent and Nagaland at 1.15 per cent, the report stated.
The MSACS official said unsafe sex was the main cause of spread of infection, followed by sharing of needles and syringes by drug users and sexual intercourse between homosexual partners.
Over 42 per cent of the HIV positive people are in the age group group of 25-34 years and 26 per cent falls in the 35-49 years age bracket, he said.
According to the Estimations report, HIV incidence per 1,000 uninfected population in 2017 was also highest in Mizoram (1.32) followed by Nagaland (0.59) and Manipur (0.58).
The incidence rate is the number of new cases per population at risk in a given time period.
Over 190 countries, including India, have pledged to end AIDS by 2030 by adopting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.