14 July 2010
By Chhavi bhatia
THE passed decade has seen more than 20–fold increase in number of AIDS cases in the state where Commercial Sex Workers (CSW) followed by homosexuals topped the high risk groups’ list.
The data collated by the state AIDS Control Society revealed that while only 70 cases were reported till 1999, the number has alarmingly risen to 1590 till May 2010 and is still on the rise. The total estimated HIV cases in Haryana have been pegged at approximately 42,000 by the society.
The most common route of transmission according to doctors, remains unprotected sex, with a figure whopping to 90 per cent. More than three per cent patients contract AIDS through infected needles and syringes and around four per cent of the total patients get infection from blood transfusion.
The Society which has identified five High Risk Groups (HRG) said the commercial sex workers are the worst hit from the disease followed by MSM ( male having sex with male). This HRG is followed by Injecting Drug Users (IDUs), truckers and migrants. The age group most prone to the virus has been is found out to be between 30 to 44 years which forms the largest chunk of more than 53 per cent of the total reported cases. This is followed by teenagers starting from 15 years to those in late twenties at 26 per cent.
The data further revealed that Rohtak is the most notorious district in the state with over 400 cases reported from there in the past decade followed by Jhajjar (219), Sonepat (211) and Jind ( 179). Only one case was reported from Ambala in the past decade. Explaining this Dr Rakesh Chaudhary, in charge of the Haryana State AIDS Control Society said, " The district has a high concentration of truck drivers as well as migrant labourers. These people are the biggest carrier of the virus.
The same goes for Sonipat also." He stated they had already established more than 140 Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTC) across the state to check the rising number where more than five lakh people have already been counselled over the decade.
The number of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) clinics have also increased from 20 in 2005 to 55 in 2010, he added.
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