Aizawl (ZoramObserver.com): Over 1,400 people have died of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS in Mizoram since it was first detected in October 1990, Mizoram State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) officials said.
MSACS officials said that during October 1990 to February 2017, about 5,98,812 blood samples have been tested out of which 14,446 people were found to be infected with HIV positive registering 1.31 per cent of the total population of over 10 lakh.
At least 1,418 people died due to complication associated with the disease since October 1990 which is 9.81 per cent against the total number of infected people, they said.
They said the situation in the state is alarming as the largest number of the HIV patients accounting to more than 68 per cent contacted the disease through unprotected sex, followed by sharing needles.
Mizoram is the state with the second highest incidence rate of AIDS in the country.
During October 1990 to June 2016, about 5,54,644 blood samples have been tested out of which 13,040 people were found to be HIV positive and at least 1,313 people including 451 females and 29 children died due to AIDS during the same period. This means that in just eight months from July, 2016 to February, 2017, 44,168 blood samples have so far been tested out of which 1,406 people were found to be infected with HIV. 105 people have also died of AIDS during eight months.
International AIDS Candlelight Memorial
Mizoram today observed 34th International AIDS candlelight memorial under the theme “Ending AIDS Together”, to pay homage to those who lost their precious lives due to AIDS and to raise social consciousness about HIV/AIDS.
The observance of International AIDS candlelight memorial under the aegis of World Vision, Positive Women Network of Mizoram (PWNM) and FHI 306 held at Lal Thanhawla auditorium in Aizawl was graced by Mizoram State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) project director Dr. Lalmalsawmi.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Lalmalsawmi expressed concern for the rapid increasing rate of HIV patients in the state and stressed the need for massive awareness.
She said that while the rate of AIDS incidence is declining in the world, it is fluctuating in Mizoram and attributed the rapid increase of HIV patient to having unprotected sex.
Lalmalsawmi, however, said that person living with HIV/AIDS need not to worry as proper treatment is available now and investigation can be done free of cost at government hospitals.
She also said that one can have a normal life like any other persons if treatment is started right in time and added that the government has evolved many facilities and is taking effort to give due care to the infected people.
According to MSACS project director AIDS incidence is high among married couple due to extra-marital life or illicit relation and called concerted effort to combat AIDS by commencing awareness at home.
The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, coordinated by the Global Network of People living with HIV is one of the world’s oldest and largest grassroots mobilization campaigns for HIV awareness in the world. Started in 1983, the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial takes place every third Sunday in May. It was however, observed in Mizoram today as the actual day falls on Sunday.