Untreated STDs are one of the major causes of HIV
Incidence of HIV cases has risen in the cityStigma attached to patients has come down
VISAKHAPATNAM: Early diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases was emphasised at `Experience Sharing and Learning Meet' held by Green Vision, a city NGO on Wednesday.
Forty representatives from 15 partner NGOs of seven coastal districts from the State participated in the two-day programme, which aims at educating NGO representatives on recent developments in AIDS health care. The theme of the workshop was `Feminisation of HIV/AIDS'. District medical and health officer P. Jagannadham, and additional DMHO for AIDS and Leprosy, Rajendra Prasad, inaugurated the workshop.
Despite extensive awareness and education programmes on AIDS, the incidence of HIV cases has risen in the city. "HIV cases that were diagnosed three or four years ago have now become AIDS cases," said director of Green Vision, G. Prabhakar. Although services need improvement, the awareness regarding the disease has improved considerably. "Even in rural areas the stigma attached to HIV patients has come down," he said. Untreated STDs are one of the major causes for HIV. "Due to the stigma attached to these diseases, patients often hesitate to come forward for treatment," said AMC professor, Jhansi Lakshmi. "Patients who come with fungal infections are often referred for the Elisa test," she said. Representative for reproductive health and HIV and AIDS Sowmini, advocate Priyadarshini and chief of ART centre KGH, V.N. Murthy spoke.