Awareness programmes, medical attention yield results in Kozhikode district
The interventions made by the Kerala State AIDS Control Society and other non-governmental organisations have yielded positive results in bringing down the number of HIV infection cases in the district, especially among women and children.
Of the 1,49,674 persons who undertook blood tests between 2011 and 2013, only 1,131 were found to be afflicted with AIDS. However, the total number of HIV-infected persons who have currently registered their names with ART centre in Malabar region is 3,700.
As per official figures, the number of HIV-infected persons did not witness an alarming rise since 2012. The main reason, according to volunteers working in the sector, was the continuous awareness programmes and constant medical attention for preventive measures.
“As per the latest figures, the district has 1,131 HIV-infected persons, of which 513 take regular ART treatment,” said P. Purushothaman, who works with various government-sponsored intervention programmes in the district.
According to him, the official figure does not include the general community, other than the targeted group covering sex workers, homosexuals and drug addicts.
Mr. Purushothaman, who has been working in the sector for the past 10 years, pointed out that the general community should be made aware of the need to conduct the blood test and confirm their immunity to the disease. “The target group of the government, including migrant workers, sex workers, homosexuals and drug addicts, is totally under the surveillance, but that is not the case with the general community, who constituted the majority of society,” he said.
Officials with the District Medical Department said the community of people living with HIV would get better care and support with the new ‘Vihaan’ project of the Union government. It would form a State-wide network of HIV positive persons and work together for their collective welfare and rehabilitation programme, they added.