At a time when three Northeastern states—Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland—are witnessing a declining trend in the number of HIV cases annually, detection of new infections are increasing in four other states of the region. This was revealed in a report which was released by Assam State AIDS control society (ASACS).
‘Northeast India comprises of both high and low HIV prevalence states, Manipur has the highest estimated adult HIV prevalence in the whole country, which is followed by two other Northeastern states—Mizoram and Nagaland,’ said Dhiraj Choudhury, Project Director of Assam State AIDS control Society (ASACS), adding, ‘Annual new HIV infections have started declining in the high prevalence states, whereas new infections are rising in other states—Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya’. He further informed that the rate of increase in annual new HIV infections is highest in Assam and Tripura.
‘HIV epidemic in the State is concentrated among the high risk group populations of female sex workers (0.46%), Men having sex with men (1.40%) and Injecting drug users (1.46%),’ he further pointed out. Meanwhile, in order to combat AIDS, Assam state AIDS control society (ASACS) has collaborated with an American federal agency—Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Speaking to ENe, on the sidelines of the programme organised by ASACS, State epidemiologist Cheeranjiv Bhattacharjee, said, ‘A team from the organisation will soon come here to help us in formulating a strategy to check the rising cases of AIDS infections in the region.’