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Amritsar district tops state in HIV positive cases, according to state AIDS control society data

Jalandhar and Tarn Taran follow with second and third positions respectively.

punjab Updated: Sep 03, 2017 18:28 IST
Anil Sharma
Anil Sharma
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Experts say injecting used syringes in the main reason behind the increase in cases in border districts.
Experts say injecting used syringes in the main reason behind the increase in cases in border districts. (HT Photo)

As per the data of Punjab State AIDS Control Society (PSACS) from 2008 to March 2017, Amritsar district has the maximum number of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) cases in Punjab.

The data claims the total number of reported cases of HIV in the state to be 42,81,062 out of which, 56,975 tested positive.

According to the PSACS data, out of total 5,53,549 cases in Amritsar district in the last decade, 14,309 tested positive, taking the border district on top of the chart.

After Amritsar, the second and third positions have been taken by Jalandhar and Tarn Taran respectively.

Jalandhar district reported 5,916 positive cases out of reported 2,66,665 while in Tarn Taran, 2,235 tested positive out of 1,28,779 reported cases in the said decade.

In the list, the least number of positive cases have been reported in Mohali district with 706 testing positive out of 1,90,685 reported.

Experts say injecting of drugs is the main reason behind the incessant increase of HIV positive cases in Amritsar district. An expert, said on anonymity, “People who inject drugs are at a higher risk of HIV than others. The risk increases with sharing needles and injection equipment among addicts.”

Amritsar and Tarn Taran have always been in the limelight for allegedly being the worst affected border districts in drugs due to its border sharing with Pakistan. Youths of these districts reportedly have their hands on all kinds of drugs such as heroin, smak and medicinal drugs, which has become the main reason of spreading of HIV virus.

Tarn Taran civil surgeon Dr Samsher Singh said prevention is the best cure as far as HIV-AIDS is concerned. “Prevention requires awareness, which comes from having complete knowledge about the reasons behind the occurrence of HIV and the measures that need to be taken to keep it at bay,” he said.

Psychiatrist Dr Ranbir Singh Rana said, “The major causes of rise in HIV positive cases in Tarn Taran and Amritsar districts are unsafe sex and injecting used syringes.”

“Owing to lack of awareness among the youth, especially from remote areas of the border belt, HIV has been spreading but the administration and health department need to take serious action towards it,” said Narinder Singh, a social activist.

First Published: Sep 03, 2017 18:03 IST

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