Panaji: The number of AIDS cases has gone down tremendously in Goa with less than two per cent of suspected patients testing positive last year, a senior official from the Goa State AIDS Control Society (GSACS) said on Friday.
"The results are encouraging. Way back in 1997, total 13.41 per cent of the cases tested at government-run centres were positive and now in 2012, it has come down to just 1.24 per cent," the official told PTI on Friday.
While the number of positive cases is decreasing, the number of cases tested at 42 government affiliated centres is increasing, almost touching half a lakh mark annually in some years.
The statistics available at GSACS reveal that 44,553 people underwent HIV test at different centres in 2012, of which only 554 were found positive and immediately placed under treatment.
The HIV positive cases show an increasing trend in the state since 1987, when the first one was reported, till 2003.
The year 2003 was the worst when only 14,249 people went for HIV infection test of which 1,054 were found positive.
The number of cases detected between 2003 and 2007 was around 1,000 a year, but the figures started plummeting from 2008 onwards, a senior GSACS official said.
The year 2009 saw 959 cases, 2010 had 821 cases and 2011 reported 665 cases.
GSACS officials claim that the intervention by National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) has proven fruitful.
NACO programmes are implemented by GSACS and NGOs, which are also working on prevention measures, the official said.
The figures indicate that in 2007, 22,917 people took HIV test and the number went on increasing every year.
In 2008, 26,737 people underwent HIV test, 33,473 in 2009, 33,429 in 2010 and 40,138 in 2011 at different centres.