The 40th national conference on Sexually Transmitted diseases and AIDS– Asticon 2016 began on Friday during which specialists from different states of India and abroad deliberated on the increasing global burden of sexually transmitted diseases and infections such as gonorrhoea and syphilis.
STIs are infections that can be transferred from one person to another through sexual contact. Some of the sexually transmitted infections are also transmitted through birth, intravenous needles or breastfeeding.
India has a higher risk for sexual infections because it has world’s largest youth population, medical experts said.
About 28% of Indian population is in the age group of 10-24 years and young adults account for 32% of AIDS cases reported in India. National Family Health Survey -3 states 20,276 women and 36, 764 men between the ages 15 -24 in India are infected with HIV.
“The three-day conference will focus on the prevention aspects and diagnostics of Chlamydia infection, especially in adolescents. Experts will also talk about the advanced management options for sexually transmitted infections. The conference will feature lectures, panel discussions, quizzes and paper presentations on recent advances in management of STI and HIV,” Dr Ragini Mehrotra said.
Conference held in under-prepared auditorium
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Bhopal hosted the national conference on AIDS in its auditorium that lacked proper flooring, seating arrangement and lighting among other things.
Specialists, including some from abroad attending the national conference on Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS (Asticon) 2016, were visibly disappointed with the arrangements.
This is for the first time the auditorium, under construction for more than 5 years, was used for a major event.
Dr Ragini Mehrotra, the organising committee’s chairperson, told HT, “Looking at how big the exposure would be for our students and how creditable it will be for the institution to host this national conference, we went ahead and organised it the best way we could.”
Notably, the estimated cost for the construction of AIIMS-Bhopal was Rs 682 crore in 2009 and till 2016 about Rs 1,400 crore have already been spent on this institute.
The foundation stone for AIIMS-Bhopal was laid in 2004, construction started in 2006 and the hospital began operations in 2014.