On an average three to four HIV infected persons are being identified in Jharkhand every day, shows the data of the Jharkhand State AIDS Control Society.
As per the data, 1,221 new HIV infections have been identified from December 2020 to October 2021.
Surprisingly, the trend in Jharkhand is completely opposite to that at the national level.
Between 2010 and 2019, when there was a fall of about 37 per cent in the number of HIV patients across the country, the number of such patients in the state increased by more than 200 per cent.
According to the study the reports released from time to time by the organisations working for the treatment and rehabilitation of HIV-AIDS patients, show that more than 90 per cent of the cases in the state are reported amongst those who migrated to other states for employment and "return back with the infection".
Most of these people belong to the lower income group. There are hundreds of cases in which truck drivers and migrant labourers "brought" the infection from outside.
According to the data of the AIDS Control Society, 25,751 HIV patients were identified in the state till December 2020, which increased to 26,972 by October 2021. Of these, the number of males is 16,184 and the number of females is 10,788.
The maximum number of patients are in Hazaribagh district of the state at 3,126.
Jamshedpur is at number two, where the number of patients is 1,822. In Ranchi, 1,522 patients have been identified, and it is at number three in terms of the number of HIV positive patients.
Talking about treatment, there are 13 ART (Antiretroviral Therapy) centres in the state, where the number of patients coming for consultation and medicines is 12,732. This suggests that the rest of the patients have either moved out of the state or are not getting treated at government centres.
The "shortage" of doctors in ART centres remains a major concern for the patients. The situation is that eight out of 13 ART centres do not have doctors.
The Jharkhand AIDS Control Society claims that continuous monitoring and counselling of patients is being done. HIV testing of pregnant women is being made mandatory to prevent the transmission of AIDS from women to children during pregnancy.
In Jharkhand, out of 12,732 patients (being treated at ART centres), only 5,000 have an Ayushman card and only 4,000 are getting the benefit of State Security Pension Scheme. Only 9,000 patients are taking the benefit of Antyodaya Anna Yojana.
Authorities say that most of the infected persons do not want to come out in the open to take advantage of the schemes.
Recently, on the occasion of the State Foundation Day on November 15, the government has started a Universal Pension Scheme. Under this, a pension of 1000 rupees will be given every month to HIV infected persons.
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