699 persons tested positive in 2012-13, as opposed to 761 last year
There has been a decrease in new HIV/AIDS cases in Puducherry in 2013, according to the Pondicherry State AIDS Control Society. The percentage of new infections has come down below one per cent this year.
Statistics cited by the State AIDS Control Society indicate that 761 persons (1.25 per cent) tested positive, from the total number of persons screened at the Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre (ICTC) in 2010- 2011. However in 2012- 2013, there has been a decrease in percentage with 699 persons (0.98 per cent) testing positive.
The rate of HIV infections in pregnant women has been zero in 2013, according to the society. The rate was 0.25 in 2004 and 0.13 in 2010. Prevention of mother-foetus transmission is one of the key factors to eliminate in order to bring down new HIV infections.
The numbers have also decreased for prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in high-risk population like female sex workers, according to statistics presented at the World AIDS Day event commemorated on Sunday, at Rajiv Gandhi Women’s and Children Hospital. The theme of the year, ‘Getting to zero’ would be accorded more impetus this year. Getting to zero would involve threefold efforts— zero deaths due to HIV/AIDS, zero new infections and zero discrimination against persons infected and affected by AIDS.
Prizes were awarded for competitions held by the Puducherry government to spread awareness about spread and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Painting, slogan writing and essay contest on role of society in HIV/AIDS prevention were held during the year in government and aided high schools, said Gurumoorthy, director.
The Society for Development and Research Training was awarded the best NGO for target intervention for its efforts to spread preventive measures among high-risk population including female sex workers, transgender population and men who have sex with men (MSM). This year, the State AIDS Control Society would hold awareness campaigns, in urban and rural sites in Puducherry and Karaikal.