HIV Patients Count Goes Down In Odisha

The HIV patient count has decreased to 0.3 percent people in the state in 2018-19, compared to 0.7 percent recorded in 2014-2015. The government credits the sustained awareness activities and safer blood screening process for this success, said Naba Kishore Das, minister of health and family welfare, in a written reply to the state assembly.

The Odisha State AIDS Control Society (OSACS), National Aids Control Organization (NACO) and Union ministry of health and family welfare help the state in controlling AIDS. According to the official statistics, 3357 people were detected as HIV positive after conducting a test on 4,83,519 people in 2014-15. The number of HIV positive people has progressively decreased ever since and stands at 3209 in 2018-19.

Das mentioned about the various programs used to bring down the number. The OSACS conducts sensitization programmes on the occasion of World AIDS Day, national and international youth day. Posters have been put up at different public places like hospitals to make people aware of AIDS. Red Ribbon Clubs have been established in 640 colleges in the state to sensitize the youths.

Various social organisations have also contributed to this. As many as 48 social organisations have conducted targeted intervention (TI) projects and covered 10060 women sex workers, 4300 homosexuals, 2250 people taking drugs through injection, 10000 truck drivers and helpers, and 92000 labourers. The state has also identified 923 vulnerable villages and provides service to these people.

The blood screening process is looked over by NACO. It provides HIV testing kits and blood bags to different NACO supported blood banks in the state to test HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C in blood samples. NACO also educate people about safe blood donation practices through the State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC).

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