Andhra Pradesh

HIV positivity rate down, but prevalence is still high

The positivity rate for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is witnessing a decline over the last few years, but it is still to come under control as prevalence is still high.

According to statistics provided by the District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit, in between April 2021 and October 2021, 65,628 people (general population) were tested for AIDS, out of which 585 had tested positive. The positivity rate in general clients during April and October 2021 is 0.89 %. It was 1.17 % in 2020-21, as against 1.33 % in 2019-20 and 1.31 % in 2018-19.

Similarly, 44,244 pregnant women were also tested out of which 43, which is 0.10 %, had tested positive. Meanwhile, out of 36,897 blood units which were collected and tested for HIV, 43 were found positive.

“In the last one decade, AIDS positivity is declining gradually. But our target is not being met. Our aim is to bring the rate to zero,” said District Medical and Health Officer P. Surya Narayana.

Earlier, only sex workers and drug users mostly used to test positive. But now, such cases have come down.

“The Health Department has scrutinised the total cases to find out which area is generally reporting cases more often. We found that cases are more prevalent in urban regions rather than in rural areas or the Agency. Some parts of Gajuwaka, industrial areas, densely populated areas, and areas with a larger migrant population are those reporting more cases. When it comes to rural areas, Nakkapalle is one area where we are seeing most of the cases,” he said.

The Health Department would focus on these areas, and ascertain the reasons behind the outcomes and will also take steps to tackle it, the DMHO added.

The DMHO also said that as of today, as many as 16,169 people are taking antiretroviral therapy (ART). This includes 7,023 men, 8,494 women, and 600 children.

World AIDS Day

According to Mr. Surya Narayana, the theme of this year’s AIDS Day is ‘End: Inequalities, AIDS and Pandemics’. He said that on December 1, a rally would be organised from the Collectorate to Zilla Parishad, followed by a public meeting from 10 a.m at ZP Meeting Hall.


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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 11:51:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/hiv-positivity-rate-down-but-prevalence-is-still-high/article37762524.ece

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