The Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (UPSACS) will track migrant population in five districts as part of a national programme to check the prevalence of HIV among migrants.
As part of the pilot project, the focus will be on five high-risk districts with migrant population — Azamgarh, Gorakhpur, Jaunpur, Maharajganj and Allahabad.
These districts are among a total of 13 in Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Orissa where the project is being implemented. As part of the project, ‘source destination corridors’ — having a high migrant movement — have been identified between some of these districts.
“We have received information from Surat (Gujarat) and Thane (Maharashtra) about the presence of HIV positive migrants from the five Uttar Pradesh districts,” said Priti Kumari, Joint Director (Target Intervention), UPSACS.
“There are many HIV positive persons in Surat and Thane who originally belong to one of the five UP districts. Most of them are in touch with district hospitals, NGOs and testing centres in Surat and Thane.
As part of their treatment or counselling, they are supposed to report to these centres after a fixed gap but many a time, they vanish without a word. This is where this programme comes in,” Priti said.
“So, when such a person is identified in Surat, for example, the Gujarat AIDS society will inform the National AIDS Control Society (NACO) which, in turn, will inform us, as these people often return home,” she said, adding, “Our role will be to link the person back to the system.”
To enable speedy exchange of information on such people, a computerised tracking system — already in place in Gujarat and Maharashtra — will be installed at the state and district level.
As per NACO, three per cent of 314 million migrant population (based on 2001 census) of the country is HIV positive while HIV prevalence in India among the general population stands at 0.40 per cent.