Think of AIDS prevention,think of women


When the World AIDS day will be observed across the globe,the theme is set to be ‘Women & AIDS’.

Today,the state government bodies in league with the UNICEF were busy chalking out plan to sensitise the affected people.

”An AIDS free generation is finally within reach, with a declining trend of adult HIV prevalence rate in the country.Women- from mothers and care givers to health care workers and policy makers – are essential to realizing this goal of zero new HIV infection”, an UNICEF release said.

UNICEF gave details of the HIV in India.These are as follows:

*Adult HIV prevalence in India is 0.31% (24 lakh), compared to 0.13% (23,500) in Jharkhand. The adult HIV prevalence rate is steadily declining in the country.

*The rate declined from 0.39% in 2004 to 0.37% in 2005, 0.36% in 2006, 0.34% in 2007, 0.32% in 2008 and 0.31% in 2009 (Technical report: India HIV Estimates -2010, National AIDS Control Organisation).
An analysis of epidemic projection shows a decline of 50% in the number of new annual HIV infections.
In 2000, the estimated number of new HIV infections was 2.7 lakh, which reduced to 1.2 lakh in 2009(NACO 2010).

*The highest HIV prevalencerate among states in the country is in Manipur (1.4%) followed by Andhra Pradesh (0.9%), Mizoram (0.81%), Nagaland (0.78%), Karnataka (0.63%) and Maharashtra (0.55%).

*The reduction in the adult HIV prevalence rate in the country is attributed to the decline in the number of new infectionsin high prevalence states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Nagaland.
On the other hand, adult prevalence rate in low prevalence states like Orissa, Kerala, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya has increased in the last four years.

*The three high prevalence states of South India along with Maharashtra account for 57% of all HIV infections in the country.

*As per the NACO estimate, the largest number of infections are in Andhra Pradesh (5 lakh), followed by Maharashtra (4.2 lakh), Karnataka (2.5 lakh) and Tamil Nadu (1.5 lakh).

*Out of 24 lakh people living with HIV and AIDS in India, 39% are women and 4.4% are children. People aged 15-49 years account for 82% of all infections in the country.
*In India the number of deaths due to AIDS declined from 2 lakh in 2006 to 1.85 lakh in 2008 and to 1.7 lakh in 2009. The decline in the number of AIDS related deaths is attributed to increased coverage of Anti-retroviral treatment (ART). In 2006, only 54,100 received ART treatment, which increased to 1.8 lakh in 2008 and over 3.1 lakh in 2009 in the country. (NACO 2010)

HIV in Jharkhand
In Jharkhand the adult HIV prevalence was 0.11% in 2005 and 2006, which increased to 0.13% in 2007 and 2009. Out of 23,600 HIV positive people in the State, 91% are aged 15-49 years, 2.5% are children and 6.5% are aged over 50 years. In 2009, there were 3814 new HIV infections in the State, compared to 1.2 lakh in India. In the State, there were 836 AIDS related deaths in 2009(NACO 2010).
The transmission of the HIV virus from mother to child can be entirely prevented. But this would be possible only if all pregnant women (numbering about 8.2 lakh) in the state are tested for HIV every year.

At present only 8% of the pregnant women are tested for HIV. For example in 2011, only 61,500 pregnant women were tested for HIV, against total number of about 8.2 lakh pregnant women. Out of this, only 38 pregnant women with HIV received treatment to prevent parent-to-child transmission (PPTCT), against the estimated number of 527 pregnant women with HIV every year (NACO 2010).

It is estimated that there are 40,476 female sex workersFSW), 3295 men who have sex with men(MSM) and 1805 injecting drug users(IDU) in Jharkhand (NACO 2010).

Suggested areas for action were

The mode of transmission of HIV virus in the state is mostly through the sexual intercourse.
Transmission of HIV can be prevented by practicing safe behaviours such as use of condoms·All pregnant women in the State need to be tested for HIV to prevent transmission from mother-to-child.

Stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS need to be actively addressed by creating more awareness among service providers and communities.

The large share of migrant population in the state posesa challenge, as they are vulnerable to the virus.

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