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Assam, Tripura see fastest rise in HIV among N-E states

03 December 2015

Assam and Tripura are among the North-eastern states that recorded the highest rate of annual increase in HIV cases, according to the Assam States AIDS Control Society (ASACS).

Assam has registered a rate of increase from 0.04 per cent in 2007 to 0.07 per cent in 2011 with the number of cases increasing from 1,219 to 2,408 during the same period, ASACS project director Dhiraj Choudhury told reporters today on the eve of World AIDS Day tomorrow.

In Tripura, the number has increased from 567 cases in 2007 to 951 in 2011.

Assam, however, is categorised as a low HIV prevalence state with an adult HIV prevalence of 0.07 per cent while Manipur has the highest estimated adult HIV Prevalence in the country at 1.22 per cent in 2011.

Recent statistics reveal that the high prevalence states of Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland have shown a declining trend in HIV prevalence, whereas new infections are increasing in some of the low prevalence states like Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, Choudhury said.

According to the NACO Technical Report, 2012, Assam had an estimated 12,804 people living with HIV (PLHA) in 2011.

ASACS state epidemiologist Dr Chiranjeev Bhattacharjya said Assam is a highly vulnerable state for HIV transmission due to several reasons, including the fact that it is the gateway to the North East and surrounded by three high prevalence states of Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland.

Besides, there is also a large young population from the state going to major cities for employment and getting involved in high-risk behaviour, Bhattacharjya said.

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