Kohima: With a prevalence rate of 0.76% among adults, third highest in the country, Nagaland has 22,878 'People living with HIV' (PLHIV) and AIDS cases, an official of Nagaland State AIDS Control Society (NSACS) has said.
A study, conducted between early 1999 and 2018, has found that the Manipur has the highest HIV prevalence rate among adults in the country at 1.06%, followed by Mizoram at 0.79%, NSACS Deputy Director Vezokholu Theyo said on Wednesday at a sensitization programme for mediapersons.
The good news is that the prevalence rate of HIV in the state has seen a declining trend over the years, she said.
The country, as a whole, has 21.1 lakh PLHIV cases and nine states - Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Rajasthan - account for 82% of those cases.
In Nagaland, which has a population of around 20 lakh, she said, 10,16,700 blood samples were screened between 1999 to 2018. Of that 22,878 have reported positive.
In 91% of the cases in Nagaland, the route of virus transmission is unsafe sex, especially between the age group of 25 to 34 years.
The prevalence rate of HIV among children below 14 years is 6%, while for youths aged between 15 and 24 years, it is 15%.
Of the 22,878 people who tested positive in Nagaland, she said, 16713 have registered for Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART).
Altogether 1504 patients have died during this period, she stated.
"The NSACS, with funding from the central government and other agencies, has established ART centres in eight districts, link ART centres in six districts and care and support centre in five. The remaining district would be getting similar facilities within this year," she said.
The joint director of NSACS, Metevino Sakhrie, urged upon the media persons in the state to create awareness and educate the people on prevention of the disease.
Deputy Director, NSACS, Thejangunuo Theunuo said that people should be able to come forward for blood test and find out about their status without hesitation
The media can play a very crucial role in dissemination information about AIDS to reduce stigma and discrimination in the society, Theunuo added.