Despite intensive awareness campaigns to curtail cases of HIV/Aids, the process seems to be a herculean challenge for the health department and other nodal agencies since the cases have been increasing every year in Patiala district.
The health department data shows that 51 cases of HIV/Aids were reported on an average every month during this year with Integrated Counselling & Testing Centre (ICTC) and a total of 511 positive cases of the virus were registered with the health department from January 1 to October 31.
However, the health department officials claimed that no death has been reported till date due to the disease.
In 2013, as many as 490 people tested positive for HIV/Aids.
As per available information, out of the 36,683 people tested for HIV/Aids till last month, 305 males and 181 females were detected positive. Around 25 unborn babies in the womb also tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, in October itself, 45 cases were found positive, of which 24 were males, 18 females and three were unborn children.
Patiala is the second district in the state which recorded the maximum number of cases (5,149) since the government started collecting data to prepare the database for HIV/Aids cases in 1983.
Males more prone
Call it high prevalence of drug addiction among males, the number of HIV positive cases in males has been increasing manifold in the past five years.
The data showed that while males and females had almost the same number of cases in 2010, it was a completely different picture now with positive cases in males almost double in 2014.
As per available information, in 2010, 67 males were found positive against 60 females. Meanwhile in 2011, only 42 females were detected with the virus while 70 males tested positive. In 2012, around 110 males were found positive against 56 females.
2013 witnessed a steep hike in the cases of HIV as 300 males were detected positive while for females the number was 156.
Patiala chief medical officer Dr HS Bali said it was a sorry state of affairs that the youth in the age group of 17-25 was affected the most due to the virus.
"The prevalence of virus in males is due to drug addiction as addicts share and use unsterilized syringes for intake of drugs," Dr Bali said.
District epidemiologist Dr Gurmeet Singh said the detection of the virus in expectant mothers was also a cause of concern.
"We are doing our best to curtail the cases and limit deaths due to this virus. This year, no death has been reported due to this virus till date," he said.