IMPHAL, Nov 19: A one day constituency level programme on behaviour change and communication on HIV & AIDS was held today at the Irabot Memorial Hall, Chalou Lamlai organized by the Manipur Legislators’ Forum on HIV & AIDS, MLFA.
The awareness programme was attended by Th Lokeshore Singh, Speaker in charge of the Manipur Legislative Assembly and chairman MLFA, Ph Parijat Singh, health and family welfare, CADA, Labour and Employment minister and Dr H Borajao, MLA Sekmai assembly constituency and treasurer MLFA as the chief guest president and guest of honour.
Declaring Manipur as HIV/AIDS capital of the country, Sushil Huidrom, state coordinator UNAIDS, in his keynote address said that it is the tenth constituency level awareness campaign organized in the state.
He further added that HIV/AIDS was first detected in the state 20 years ago.
The first HIV/AIDS state policy in the country was first established in the year 1996 in Manipur.
A total of 36,372 persons have been found positive from 4, 17,637 test till August 2010 in the state. Even though the state annual percentage of affected persons tested has been diminishing for the past few years, the present percentage of 5.01-5.09 is double the times of the national tested affected percentage, Sushil said.
The infection rate is highest in the mother to child infection in the state which stands at 12 percent of the total affected persons. Even though the number of IDU in the state has been diminishing in the state, the number of drug users has increased in the state, he added.
He has further elaborated that the number of heterosexual, CSW and drug abuse transmission is still high in the state as compared to the overall national transmission rate.
The state has a total of 2000 approx children living with HIV/AIDS, with the transmission rate at Tamenglong and Senapati district beginning to increase dangerously even though it is low compared to other districts of the state which has reached flashpoints.
Dr H Borajao in his speech stated that the state has 17,000 ART users in the state as of the 2010 June report of MACS.
He has further added that the forum along with various departments including the social welfare, rural and Panchayat and minority departments of the state will be sitting along to chart out the various steps to be taken up on the HIV/AIDS issue in the state.
In the meantime the state government will be taking up steps to introduce BPL cards for people living with HIV/AIDS.