As many as 108 out of 12,328 voluntary blood samples taken at the Una district hospital in 2012 have tested positive.
Stating this, chief medical officer (CMO) Dr GR Kaushal said the national figure in voluntary samples was 2.5%. The figure of 0.87% in Una was encouraging.
The CMO said this while addressing a media workshop on HIV-AIDS organised by the district AIDS Control Society.
The CMO said in all 211 HIV positive cases have been reported at Una till date, out of which 111 turned out to be AIDS cases.
He said due to massive AIDS awareness programmes coupled with proper care and counselling through three integrated counselling and testing centres (ICTCs) in Una district, there has been a marked decline in the number of youth getting infected with the deadly virus.
Dr Kaushal said HIV testing has been made mandatory for all deliveries conducted at government health institutions so that if the mother is infected, the transmission to the newborn can be checked with proper medication. He therefore appealed to all expecting mothers to get proper ante-natal checkups and opt for institutional deliveries.
AIDS programme officer Dr Anita Sharma said 85% people were affected with HIV infection through sexual contact, adding that this could be prevented by exercising restraint or practicing safe sex.
Besides, she said use of infected needles and syringes, use of infected needles for skin piercing or tattooing, use of infected blades by barbers, mother to child transmission and transfusion of infected blood were also some of the known routes of infection. She added that breastfeeding an infant by infected mother and deep kissing also transmit the disease.
Dr Sharma said there were three ICTCs at Una district hospital and at community health centres in Bangana and Daulatpur Chowk, adding that a link anti-retroviral therapy (ART) centre is also functional at the district hospital, where a HIV patient could come for treatment besides medication.
Speaking about the financial assistance scheme to wards of HIV-AIDS persons, Dr Sharma said children of living or dead HIV-AIDS patients were given Rs. 300 to 800 per month from the district AIDS Control Society, depending on their age from neo-natal to 18 years. She said 116 children were being given this assistance in Una district.