State sees decline in number of people living with HIV who left treatment midway | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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State sees decline in number of people living with HIV who left treatment midway

Jan 17, 2023 12:51 AM IST

Mumbai: The number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) who have lost to follow-up has been on a steady decline in the state over the last five years

Mumbai: The number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) who have lost to follow-up has been on a steady decline in the state over the last five years.

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Data procured through Right to Information (RTI) from National Aids Control Organisation, New Delhi, by RTI activist advocate Tushar Bhosale showed Maharashtra had 1,012 PLHIV in 2017-18, which dropped to 171 (2021-22). The numbers in Mumbai have remained in two-digits over the last two years as compared to more than 200 in 2017-18.

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Dr Vijaykumar Karanjkar, deputy director, Mumbai District Aids Control Society (MDACS) said, they have started the ‘lost to follow-up’ trackback activity on a weekly, monthly and bi-monthly basis.

“The care support centres have been informed to rigorously follow-up newly-registered PLHIVs. We have also developed standard operating procedures to handle lost to follow up trackback cases and trained Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) centres on the same,” said Karanjkar.

MDACS has also initiated a calling activity by ART staff. “If any PLHIV has missed coming to the ART centre, the staff has been asked to promptly call and check on the reasons behind skipping the appointment. We are also sending SMS as reminders for appointments,” said Dr Karanjkar.

The state and city AIDS control society officials said they are coordinating with each other on lost to follow-up of PLHIVs. “This is done to avoid duplication activity,” said Dr Karanjkar. A state AIDS control society official said during reviews they have found many PLHIVs registered in multiple ART centre.

PLHIV who have lost to follow-up plays a crucial role in HIV management and should be taken seriously, said activists. “We have shown good improvement in other categories of HIV management, for example, transmission from mother to child, which is almost zero. We should have zero lost to follow in PLHIVs too,” said Ganesh Acharya, HIV/AIDS activist.

He said a PLHIV who has lost to follow-up can be in advance stage and be infectious. “There can be many reasons behind the lost to follow up which should be checked as it is directly impacting the public health,” said Acharya.

Meanwhile, data released by the MDACS showed a decline in the new HIV infections in Mumbai. MDACS said 4,75,540 people were tested in the year April 2019-20, out of which 0.9 percent i.e., 4,473 people were found to be HIV positive.

In the year 2021-22 out of 3,87,399 people tested, 0.08 percent i.e., 3,087 people were found to be HIV positive. In the current year April 2022 to October, 0.08 percent i.e., 1,910 people have been found HIV positive out of 2,52,962 total tests.

In 2021-22 there were 1,245 deaths reported in the city while in 2019-20 (pre covid) 1,265 deaths were reported. This year from April to October, 487 people died due to HIV.

BOX:

People living with HIV who left without completing the treatment (lost to follow-up) from April 2017- Oct 2022

Maharashtra

2017-18: 1012

2018-19:874

2019-20:605

2020-21:227

2021-22:171

April 22- Oct 22- 103

Mumbai

2017-18: 225

2018-19:251

2019-137

2020-21:68

2021-22:91

April 22- Oct 22- 34

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