Hyderabad: 179 new HIV+ identified out of 33,000 screenings
The special drive launched by health department in the run-up to AIDS Day on December 1, to trace HIV positive individuals across Telangana, is coming to an end and so far, only 179 new positive cases have been identified.
Hyderabad: The special drive launched by health department in the run-up to AIDS Day on December 1, to trace HIV positive individuals across Telangana, is coming to an end and so far, only 179 new positive cases have been identified. This is after conducting the rapid HIV blood test on 32,966 individuals in all districts.
According to officials, the estimated prevalence rate in Telangana (14-49 years) is 0.7 per cent which means that 7 out of 1,000 individuals are affected with AIDS. According to this prevalence rate, after screening 33,000 individuals the HIV positive number should be 234. So, the present figure is nearly 60 short of that, authorities said.
While all 33 districts had reported at least one case each, Hyderabad, Warangal and Khammam were on the top of the list with more number of cases compared to other districts. Hyderabad having the most cases is no surprise as the population of the HRGs (High-Risk Groups) like truck drivers, transgenders, migrant workers etc is high compared to other districts, health officials said.
Nearly 33,000 individuals came forward to take the screening test (rapid HIV blood test) that gives the result in just 15 minutes. Those who were found to be reactive would be taken to Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres for further tests.
More than ninety-five per cent of those who were found to be reactive in the first screening test would invariably test positive for HIV virus.While thirty-three thousand plus individuals underwent the blood screening tests, the number of people who filled the SMART application (a self-disclosure form about status, mobility, addictions and history of blood transfusion) was more than 50,000.
While some filled and submitted the forms there itself, others who did not want to be identified took the forms with them stating that they will fill it and submit later. According to data with the Telangana health department, the number of AIDS-affected people in Telangana (between 14-49 age group) is 1.32 lakh but those undertaking Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) treatment and benefits from the government stand roughly at 83,000.
The health department stated that the CBT (Community Based Testing) that kicked off this time would be held throughout the year from January till December from next year onwards.