World AIDS Day: Good News & Bad News For Odisha

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Bhubaneswar: First, the good news — Odisha has recorded decline in prevalence of HIV+ cases and transmission to children. AIDS-related deaths in the state have also dipped, according to HIV Sentinel Survey 2017.

However, the latest data make for the bad news on Worlds AIDS Day on Sunday. The Odisha State AIDS Control Society (OSACS) reported that 1, 962 new HIV+ cases were detected in the state between January and October 2019. Of these, 1,330 were males and 632 females (excluding non-pregnant women).

Among expectant mothers, 515 new HIV+ cases were detected till October this year. Of them, 483 were confirmed as AIDS infected, OSACS reported on Saturday.

According to the report, Sambalpur district has posted more HIV+ cases this year than in 2018. Nearly 1.9 per cent of the total HIV tests conducted in the district came out positive. It was 1.6 per cent in 2018.

Cuttack also figured among the high HIV prevalence districts in Odisha with 1.9 per cent of tests being detected positive. It was followed by Ganjam, Gajapati and Nabarangpur districts.

The OSACS data reveal that 18,626 people are living with HIV (PLHIV) in Odisha currently and are on ART (Anti-Retroviral Therapy) treatment. Odisha is ranked in the top-15 states in India with high PLHIVs.

However, what looks assuring for Odisha is the HIV Sentinel Survey, 2017 showed a sharp dip in HIV prevalence among ante-natal clinic attendees and high risk groups like sex workers, transgenders, MSMs (men having sex with men) and IDU (injectible drug users) from 0.73 per cent in 2008-09 to 0.28 per cent in 2016-17.

The decline is considered significant because it reduces the risk of transmission of the killer disease to children.

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