Tribune News Service
Ambala, December 1
The incidence of HIV/AIDS is the most among drug addicts, sex workers and eunuchs, a recent survey has revealed.
At least 70 patients — 59 drug addicts, nine sex workers and two transgenders — were found during a recent survey conducted by the Health Department, a senior officer said here on Tuesday.
The results of the survey sent shock waves in the district as the infected persons were reportedly in touch with several other persons, whose details were being traced and tested, the officer disclosed.
Taking a cue from the survey conducted by the District AIDS Control Society, the district administration on Tuesday launched a special drive to motivate high-risk persons to get themselves tested to trace and treat infected patients. The drive launch coincided with World AIDS Day.
“Initially, high-risk persons resisted testing, but after constant counselling and educating them about the disease and how to prevent it, they finally agreed to get themselves tested,” the officer revealed.
The 70 HIV-positive persons were put under anti-retroviral therapy, which involved giving them a combination of HIV medicines every day.
“It is recommended for everyone who has HIV,” said an expert, while adding that the therapy could not cure HIV, but help people with HIV to live longer and lead healthier lives.
The survey also revealed that most of the drug addicts, who were tested positive for HIV, used to take drugs through injections.
“They used to inject themselves with drugs and in some cases, used a single syringe and needle for multiple injections,” shared the officer, adding that some patients admitted sharing syringes and needles.
Deputy Commissioner Ashok Kumar Sharma directed health officials to test, trace and treat all infected persons after covering all high-risk sections of society under the awareness and testing drive.
Dr Kuldeep Singh, Civil Surgeon, said the Health Department had been spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS and high-risk persons were kept under observation.
“Those who tested positive were given treatment and their contacts traced and tested to check further spread of the disease,” he added.
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