Mokokchung, 21 May (MTNews): Nodal Officer of Integrated Health Campaign, Nagaland State AIDS Control Society (NSACS), and Deputy Director of Sexually Transmitted Infections, Dr Zaiwang, today said districts of Dimapur, Chumoukedima, and Niuland have an estimated 9,662 people living with HIV. However, the actual number of PLHIVs could be significantly higher due to underreporting and social stigma.

He was speaking during the launch of the Integrated Health Campaign in Dimapur. Comparing Nagaland’s rate to India’s HIV prevalence rate of 0.22 percent, the officer noted that Nagaland’s rate is alarmingly higher at 1.61 percent, making it the second highest in the country after Mizoram.

Dr Zaiwang reported that out of the estimated 9,662 PLHIVs, only 3,034 are receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) as of March 2024. This leaves 6,628 individuals without treatment, highlighting the urgent need for increased outreach and support services.

The campaign data also identified high-risk groups for targeted interventions, including injecting drug users (both male and female), men who have sex with men, transgender individuals, female sex workers, truckers, and migrants.

EAC Dimapur Imlijungla urged various stakeholders to work together to ensure that these programs are effective and sustainable. Imlijungla emphasized early screening and prevention, adding that health issues among pregnant women were high.

From April 2023 to March 2024, a total of 48,777 individuals were tested for HIV across Nagaland, with 960 testing positive. Among these, 919 were general clients, and 41 were antenatal care clients, indicating a significant number of HIV cases among pregnant women.

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