Assam to provide Rs 1 lakh to Aids victims' kin
The Assam government has hit upon an incentive scheme to draw out HIV positive cases that are still unrevealed.india Updated: Mar 17, 2012 18:58 IST
The Assam government has hit upon an incentive scheme to draw out HIV positive cases that are still unrevealed.
Beginning April, the government will be providing financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh each to the survivors of those who died of the immunodeficiency virus. The blueprint has been prepared for 1,000 such cases though an estimated 300 have died of Aids so far in Assam.
"The objective is to give some relief particularly to women whose husbands died of the deadly disease," Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told HT.
"We also hope the incentive would encourage HIV infected persons to register with hospitals (and help) toward curbing the spread of the disease."
Sarma added the scheme aims to bring everybody including the socially ostracized HIV infected people and their families under institutional framework.
Health officials say the stigma attached to HIV has made it difficult to combat the virus in Assam. "The cash incentive is expected to help the HIV-infected overcome social hurdles and opt for anti-retroviral treatment in hospitals,” a senior officer said.
Assam does not fall in the high-risk category but the number of people living with HIV/AIDS has increased alarmingly in recent years. According to Assam State AIDS Control Society the state has some 6,000 HIV cases, up from 363 in 2001. The National AIDS Control Society, however, pegs the number of HIV infected people in Assam at more than 14,000.