Every ten among 100 people, who are voluntarily undergoing HIV/AIDS test at Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre (ICTC) here, are found positive. As many as 45 HIV positive cases were reported from among the 500 people tested from 21 mandals in Krishna District in February.

Witnessing above 50 per cent increase in the spread of the disease among the tested cases in Gudivada mandal, it registered 8 positive cases including two women out of the 19 people tested in February. Spreading of disease is also very high in Pamarru and Guduru mandals. “Vertical transmission of HIV from mother to child and positive cases among pregnant women is alarming in the district,” said government Hospital Anti-Retroviral Therapy Centre’s Machilipatnam in-charge P. Ramakrishna Rao.

“At least 250 children below 15 years are infected with AIDS from their mother and undergoing treatment at the ARTC. There were also new-born babies and children below the 5 years,” he said. “Many pregnant women are undergoing HIV tests on the advice of Government doctors. Many, however, continue to rely on corporate medical treatment to hide their health status. It led to increase in the number of vertical transmission of the AIDS,” he opined

If one goes by the figures of the ART Centre, on an average 100 new patients are getting registered for the ART every month. As of now, above 5,500 HIV patients from 21 mandals in Krishna district are promised of regular counselling and treatment.

Many youths in the age group of 25 to 35 are increasingly willing to go for AIDS test. The prime reason for unprecedented youth turn out at the ICTC is the three-stage HIV detection test being conducted to confirm the disease.

“Many patients visit us after they were tested HIV positive in the private testing centres, where disease is confirmed based on the single stage disease detection system. Most of the positive cases were proven wrong during the Rapid three-stage disease detection system at the ICTCs,” said Machilipatnam Government Hospital ICTC Counsellor K. Bala Swami.