A new report released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, reveals a steady decline in the number of HIV in India and reveals that Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura have been developed as the new HIV hotspots.
It states that the Ministry assigned the reason for the rise in the HIV cases in the three northeastern States due to the high-risk behavior of Injecting Drug Users (IDUs), and the unsafe sexual practices.
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In the report, it is also said that the HIV prevalence is higher then IDUs in four sites in Mizoram and one in Tripura.
HIV prevalence among female sex workers was higher in Tripura, Mizoram, and Meghalaya.
The report also talks about HIV prevalence among pregnant women that visit ante-natal clinics (ANC) in Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura is more than 1% as compared with HIV prevalence among pregnant women visiting ANCs in other states in India.
The study called ‘HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS)’ conducted by the National AIDS Control Organisation is one of the biggest regular studies in the world that deals with HIV in high-risk groups of the population across the world.
The HSS had referred that HIV prevalence in the northeastern States of Nagaland (0.82%), Meghalaya (0.73%), Mizoram (1.19%), Tripura (0.56%) and Manipur (0.47%). The risk of HIV in India increases with the increasing number of using an illicit drug.
In a statement Samiran Panda, Director of the National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) states that “We need prevention and intervention strategies for the most-at-risk population in these pockets, with good coverage. Going by that target, we are still short of about 6 lakh patients. The challenge is to encourage more people to take the test and then provide them with ART.”
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What is Injection Drug Use?
It is the method of illicit drug use by a person, these illicit drugs are directly injected into the body like into a vein, under the skin, or into a muscle, with a needle and syringe. These blood-borne viruses, such as HIV and hepatitis, can be transmitted through shared needles or any other drug injection equipment.
How Can You Reduce the Risk of HIV?
One of the best ways that anyone can suggest is to stop injecting drugs, this will helps in reducing the risk of transmitting HIV through injection drug use.
Other options are;
- Cleaning used needles with bleach.
- Using sterile water to fix drugs.
- Cleaning your skin with a new alcohol swab before you inject.
- Disposing of needles safely after one use.
- Getting tested for HIV once a year.
- Taking knowledge from the doctor about medicine to prevent HIV.
- Using a condom during sexual intercourse to prevent the sexually transmitted infection.
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