Out of the total 21.17 lakh people living with HIV in the country, the Northeastern Region has around 63,000 people living with HIV. This is according to the data presented by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) during the North East Regional Review meeting which was held at the State Convention Centre here on Wednesday.
As per the data of NACO, around 6.54 percent out of the 21.17 lakh people belong to age group of below 15 years even as the HIV infections among female is around 40.5 percent. As per the data, adult HIV prevalence is estimated at at 0.30 percent among males and at 0.22 percent among females in 2015. The three North Eastern States has the highest estimated adult HIV prevalence with Manipur has the highest HIV prevalence of 1.15 percent followed by Mizoram and Nagaland at 0.80 percent and 0.78 percent.
Even though the technical report of the the India HIV Estimations 2015 revealed there is a steady decline from an estimated peak of 0.38 percent in 2001-03 through 0.34 percent in 2007 and 0.28 percent in 2012 to 0.26 percent in 2015.
Declining trends in adult HIV prevalence are sustained in all of the high prevalence States which include Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland and Tamil Nadu) and other States such as Goa, Odisha and West Bengal. It was revealed that the stable adult HIV prevalence has been noted in States such as Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
However, rising trends in adult HIV prevalence has been observed in some of the hitherto relatively low prevalence states and union territories like Assam, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Punjab, Tripura and Uttarakhand.
The data of the India HIV Estimations 2015, states that the country has around 86 thousand new HIV infections in 2015, showing 66 percent decline in new infections from 2000 and 32 percent decline from 2007-the year set as baseline in the National AIDS Control Programme-IV.
Meanwhile, in his inaugural address, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Director General, NACO, Sanjeeva Kumar, said that there is a silver lining with regards to HIV in the north east since the civil society in the region is strong.
“This part of the country has strong sense of community therefore there is a need to leverage the schemes to get maximum result from the community,” Kumar said.
The Additional Secretary also expressed his disappointment over the emergence of new areas like Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya and South and North Tripura in the HIV map adding that there are many groups like female sex workers, men having sex with men, intravenous drug users, transgenders and their problems have to be treated differently.