The number of HIV-AIDS cases in Chandigarh has witnessed a decline. As per the State AIDS Control Society (SACS) this year, 75 AIDS cases have been reported from the city till October this year as opposed to 122 cases in 2012.
The total number of cases reported in the city is 647, which includes people from the neighbouring states as well. The residents of Chandigarh constitute only 11 per cent of the total cases. Haryana, followed by Punjab, constitutes the majority of AIDS cases reported in Chandigarh. Out of 647 total AIDS cases reported in Chandigarh till October this year, 320 are from Haryana and 210 from Punjab.
Also, as per the Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) centre, PGI has 3,239 patients of which only 364 (11.23%) are from Chandigarh, while the rest are from neighbouring states.
Further, the major cause of HIV in Chandigarh is unsafe sex. “Unprotected sex is the reason behind 89 per cent HIV cases in the city. It is a major threat and more awareness is needed among high risk groups,” said Dr Vanita Gupta, Director of State AIDS Control Society (SACS).
The information was shared during the HIV-AIDS-cum-curtain raiser for AIDSCON-3 held by the States AIDS Control society. The conference was chaired by Home-cum-Health Secretary Anil Kumar.
As per SACS data, the number has reduced to 0.21 per cent this years in comparison to the national prevalence of 0.36 per cent.
Anil Kumar talked about the availability of safe blood in the community. “The HIV positivity amongst blood donors is very low at 0.07 per cent, which ensures that safe blood is available to the community,” he said.
According to the HIV Sentinel Surveillance, HIV prevalence has shown a decline in infection in Chandigarh. Among female sex workers it has declined from 0.67 per cent (2006) to 0 per cent (2011), while amongst men having sex with men (MSM) it has come down from 4.80 per cent (2006) to 0.40 per cent (2011) and amongst Intravenous Drug Users it has declined from 17.60 per cent (2006) to 7.20 per cent (2011).
As per Dr Vanita Gupta, Director, State AIDS Control Society (SACS), the new case detection of HIV has declined. “More cases are being tested, but fewer cases are being found positive. In 2009, 22,253 general clients were tested and 5 per cent were positive. In 2012, more than 40,000 cases were tested and only 2 per cent were found positive.”
The new case detection