DIMAPUR, Aug 21 – Dimapur district has shown an alarming increase in HIV positivity rate even as the prevalence rate remains steady in Nagaland for the last two years. The district contributes to more than 50 per cent of those detected as HIV+ in the State.
Statistics revealed during the ongoing two-day Consultation on ‘Dimapur District HIV Intervention Plan’ at the Police headquarters at Chumukedima shows that out of the total sero-positive cases, 32.40 per cent were detected in Dimapur during 2007-08, 44.50 per cent in 2008-09, 48 per cent in 2009-10 and 54.6 per cent during the first quarter of 2010. A total of 255 were detected as HIV+ in Dimapur out of 467 during the first quarter of the current year.
A district-wise HIV status also shows that during the period from January 2002 to July 2010, a total of 53,785 were tested in Dimapur out of which 3,503 were found positive. The route of transmission is mainly through sexual route with 84 per cent in Nagaland while Dimapur accounts for 88 per cent during 2009-10. The rate of sexual route for the district has further increased to 93 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 while it has been noted that the maximum number of HIV positive cases belongs to the age group of 25-34.
The district also contributes the highest percentage of 43.70 per cent to the total number of People Living with HIV/AIDS in the State which has 1,895 patients on ART of which 828 of them are from Dimapur.
Meanwhile, of the total STI/RTI Episodes (2,122) diagnosed and treated in Nagaland, 40.43 per cent (858) were diagnosed from Dimapur during the first quarter of the current year.
Another disturbing trend is the positivity rate among pregnant women in Dimapur which has drastically gone up to 3. 20 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 from 1.62 per cent during 2009-10.
Earlier, Project Director of NSACS Dr Neiphi Kire said the general perception of the public is that positive cases are coming from outside the State. However, he sought to underline that this was not a correct picture while pointing out that an analysis made in this regard shows that non-locals contribute only 28.30 per cent to the prevalence rate while 71.70 per cent HIV positive cases are detected in locals from various tribes of Nagaland.
He strongly asserted that HIV is not a disease affecting the non-locals but a predominating issue of the locals. Also noting that the route of transmission is mainly through sex, he stressed that the practice of safe sex has to be advocated.
The aim of the two-day consultation is to evolve a strategy for Dimapur District Specific HIV Intervention Plan.