26 November 2010
By Anuradha Mascarenhas
Till September this year a total of 149 out of 27,785 pregnant women who had registered for ante natal care at 42 Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTCs) were found positive with the infection. Dr B R Shende, District Programme Officer, AIDS said that there has been a dip in the prevalence of HIV infection among the high risk group of female sex workers as well.
According to Dr R S Paranjape, Director of National AIDS Research Institute (NARI), the national sentinnel surveillance has shown a dip in the HIV infection among the pregnant women. Giving a break up of the number of cases of HIV infection among pregnant women at ICTC centres, Shende said that in 2008 a total of 46,879 pregnant women were examined, of which 289 were infected, while in 2009 there were 55,219 pregnant women examined at the ICTC and 303 women were infected. The rate of HIV infection has dipped from 0.67 per cent in 2008 to 0.5 per cent in 2010, Shende added.
Attributing this trend to general education and awareness among the people, Dr D B Kadam, in charge of the Anti retroviral treatment (ART) centre at Sassoon General Hospital told The Indian Express that the HIV epidemic had reached a plateau worldwide.
The state figure of the rate of HIV infection among ANC mothers has also dipped from 0.88 per cent in 2004 to 0.63 per cent in 2008.
In Pune, of 17,258 people with AIDS, 741 have succumbed from 1986 till now, says Dr M Nagara, district civil surgeon. Meanwhile, doctors said the life span of people living with HIV has increased in addition to their quality of life due to anti-retroviral treatment.
A total of 22,321 people have registered for ART at Sassoon centre out of which 6,423 are on therapy. According to figures till October end, 341 boys and 223 girls below 15 are also on ART at Sassoon. At Armed Forces Medical College, 1,448 people have been registered for treatment out of which 1,028 are on ART while at YCM Hospital, Pimpri, 5,062 have been registered out of which 2,590 are on therapy. The health authorities have planned a huge rally on December 1.