Friday, June 21, 2024

36% in UP unaware of their HIV+ status

About 36 per cent people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Uttar Pradesh, lack awareness regarding their HIV status.

They remain largely asymptomatic, refraining from testing, leading to virus transmission to others.

This revelation came from an estimation of Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (UPSACS) as the country marks ‘World AIDS Day.’

The estimation is based on National AIDS Control Organization NACO routine HIV estimation that uses ‘Spectrum’ tool, analysing existing data to update the status of the HIV epidemic in India.

The Spectrum uses numbers of new HIV diagnoses (recorded through case surveillance) and HIV-related deaths to estimate trends in new HIV infections and HIV diagnosis rates.

The latest fact sheet released, estimates 1.94 lakh people living with HIV in the state with only 64 per cent aware of their infection.

According to the fact sheet, from 2019 onward there is an improvement in PLHIV knowing their status.

From 54 per cent in 2019, it improved to 64 per cent in 2022.

“With extensive outreach in rural areas, screening of pregnant women, blood donors and other patients, we came to know that many PLHIV are unaware of their medical status. The testing has been increased, but the journey ahead is challenging,” said Ramesh Srivastav, joint director, UPSACS.

Officials said that from April 2022 to October 2023, 9,513 cases of HIV have been identified through extensive testing.

He emphasised that they have registered nearly 1.12 lakh PLHIV cases under antiretroviral therapy (ART) at over 55 centres.

Srivastav noted over 63,000 cases in high-risk groups (HRG), including female sex workers (FSW), injecting drug users (IDU), transgenders (TG), and men who have sex with men (MSM).

“Besides HRG, we focus on 55,000 truckers, where the infection rate could be higher than in other groups,” he added.

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