11 more HIV cases identified

Published on Jul 28, 2006 12:21 AM IST

WITH FOUR deaths and 36 full-blown cases of AIDS in the last few months, rural area of Kaushambi is fast emerging as high-HIV incidence area. As many as 11 HIV positive cases were identified in June alone. But, what is more shocking is that despite a rise in these cases, the Health Department is yet to launch a comprehensive HIV screening programme for labourers and truck drivers coming from Mumbai and other high HIV endemic regions to the district.

HT Image
HT Image
None | BySmriti Malaviya, Allahabad

WITH FOUR deaths and 36 full-blown cases of AIDS in the last few months, rural area of Kaushambi is fast emerging as high-HIV incidence area.

As many as 11 HIV positive cases were identified in June alone. But, what is more shocking is that despite a rise in these cases, the Health Department is yet to launch a comprehensive HIV screening programme for labourers and truck drivers coming from Mumbai and other high HIV endemic regions to the district.

According to official record, at least 50 per cent cases of the total registered cases are women in the age group of 20- 45. Most of them contracted the virus through their partners.

Also, except five HIV cases, all the others are labourers and working in high-prevalence areas like Mumbai, Delhi and Surat.

The first official case of HIV was identified in June, 2003 in Kaushambi. A 27-year-old grocery shop-owner Raju contracted the deadly HIV virus during his stay in Mumbai.

He was suffering from TB and other opportunistic infections (OIs). However, with Anti Retro Viral (ART) treatment, he regained health and is back to Mumbai.

But, the second official case of HIV, 26-year-old Dinesh was not so lucky and succumbed to the disease last month. His 24-year-old wife also tested HIV positive. Reportedly, Dinesh contracted the infection from a red light area of Allahabad.

Similarly, a resident of Paschim Sarira Kailash, 45, a private guard, also died after six months of ART treatment. He had contracted the virus from the only identified red light area near Sirathu in Kaushambi, about five years back. The most shocking case was of a 21-year-old tempo driver, who was administered infected blood after he sustained injuries in an accident three years ago. He too died a few months back. One more AIDS patient died due to OI this year.

At least 11 new cases of HIV were also identified in the Kaushambi district last month. Of them, 10 cases were reported at the Voluntary Testing and Counselling Centre (VCTC) at Manjhanpur.

Nodal Officer, AIDS Control Programme Kaushambi, Dr SAM Meesum said at an average two to three HIV cases were reported every month to the VCTC at Manjhanpur. But the month of June was an exception with a total 11 new cases, indicating a high incidence of HIV in rural Kaushambi.

The study of HIV cases is also very alarming. Most of the HIV patients contracted infection due to abnormal and unsafe sexual behaviour and they also passed the infection to their partners. For instance, recently diagnosed HIV patient Suresh (28) contracted the infection from a sex worker, nine years back.

He was working as a truck khalasi and used to move on the GT Road. He got married and now his wife and two children are also suspected HIV carriers.

Similarly, Naresh (35), a pan shop-owner contracted the infection during his stay in Mumbai. He passed the infection to both his wife and nine-month-old baby, he said.

Dr Meesum stressed the need for launching a HIV screening drive for the migrants in rural Kaushambi.

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