Nearly 3.15 lakh HIV cases were registered in Maharashtra in 2012.
Maharashtra has achieved a dubious distinction of registering largest number of people living with HIV after Andhra Pradesh.
When the issue of people living with HIV was raised in Parliament, it was informed that out of the 20.88 lakh persons infected with HIV, 4.19 lakh were in Andhra Pradesh, while 3.15 lakh were in Maharashtra, 2.09 lakh in Karnataka, 1.34 lakh in West Bengal, 1.32 lakh in Tamil Nadu, 1.27 lakh in Gujarat and 1.23 lakh in Bihar.
The Centre has proposed a budgetary support of Rs 11,394 crore, while Rs 7,314 crore will be spent exclusively on HIV prevention and awareness during the 12th plan period.
Gynaecology professor Rekha Dawar said in view of the sudden spurt in HIV cases, the state government has stepped up its health education and awareness plan at all levels across the state. "It's a fact that Maharashtra has been witnessing increasing number of HIV cases. We will have to further strengthen our action plan," she said.
Dawar, who has undertaken a number of studies on HIV and AIDS, said, the state government has already intensified targeted intervention plans to halt HIV and AIDS cases. "Our efforts are on to target mother-to-child infection. We have already initiated a series of measures to tackle the further transmission of the disease," she said. Secondly,
She said more emphasis is being given in curbing the spread of the menace among migrant workers, truck drivers and commercial sex workers. "We will have to concentrate on the migrant population, truck drivers and commercial sex workers. More emphasis will have to be given on safe sex and educate people on the ill-effects of unsafe intercourse," she said. A senior public health official said, a few years ago, states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal were on the top, but over a period of time, Maharashtra has achieved the dubious distinction of leading the list with largest number of HIV cases.
"We have the maximum number of health workers and paramedical staff, despite such a situation, Maharashtra has been witnessing a steady increase in the number of HIV cases. We will have to redraft our strategy to halt the rising number of AIDS and HIV+ cases," he said.Total HIV cases (2012) : 20.88 lakh
Andhra Pradesh: 4.19 lakh
Maharasthra: 3.15 lakh
Karnataka: 2.09 lakh
West Bengal: 1.34 lakh
Gujarat: 1.27 lakh
Tamil Nadu: 1.32 lakh
Bihar: 1.23 lakh
Times of India
01 September 2013, Mumbai.