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Sat, 25 Jan 2020

Northeast Today

Mizoram Govt to allocate separate budget to fight HIV

Mizoram Govt to allocate separate budget to fight HIV
December 06
11:39 2019

NET Bureau

Concerned over the high prevalence of HIV in Mizoram, the State Government has decided to allocate a separate budget to fight the epidemic.
“Besides allocating a separate budget, the State Government is gearing up to fight the epidemic disease on a war footing,” Mizoram Health Minister Dr R Lalthangliana said during a review meeting of the Integrated HIV/AIDS Action Plan, Mizoram, here today, jointly organised by the National AIDS Control Programme, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Mizoram Government.
With 17,897 people of the total population of about 11 lakh infected with HIV, Mizoram has the highest HIV prevalence figure in the country.

In 2018-19 alone, 2,557 new cases were detected. In a State with a population significantly lower than majority of the other States, officials have termed the prevalence rate “extremely high”.

Lalthangliana expressed the hope that the review meeting, which involved the country’s top experts in the field, would chalk out an action plan to curb the spread of HIV in Mizoram.

Sanjeeva Kumar, Special Secretary and DG (NACO and RANTCP), National AIDS Control Organisation, in his speech at the review meeting, said the allocation of a separate budget for HIV and other activities showed that the Mizoram Government is truly committed to fighting the disease.

The high prevalence of HIV in Mizoram that has a strong social structure, close-knit society, influential NGOs and churches, along with a high literacy rate, necessitates a review of the mechanism to fight against the disease, he said. Kumar urged the participants to find out if the present action plan is inadequate, and chalk out a new plan if it is so.

Representatives of UNAIDS, North Eastern Council, NACO, Mizoram National Health Mission, Mizoram State AIDS Control Society and Mizoram Health Department attended the review meeting.

According to the Mizoram State AIDS Control Society (MCAS), 67.21 per cent of the HIV cases in the State are sexually transmitted. As much as 28.12 per cent of the cases has been transmitted through intravenous drug use. Analysis of the HIV-positive cases confirmed at the testing centres show that people in the age group of 25-34 years are the most vulnerable in Mizoram, followed by those in the age brackets of 35-49 years and 15-24 years, said MCAS Project Director Dr Lalthlengliani – noting that prevalence for these groups stands at 42.38 per cent, 26.46 per cent and 23.03 per cent respectively.

Mizoram’s HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is substantially higher than the national average, which stands at just over 0.2 per cent.

Source: The Assam Tribune

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