Kohima, 28 March (MTNews): As per NACO HSS Plus Report 2021, the HIV prevalence rate among women under antenatal care (ANC) in Nagaland is 1.61% against the national average of 0.22, which is the highest in the country, while the adult prevalence rate among 15-49 years of age is at 1.36% against the national average of 0.21, which is the second highest in the country.
This was informed by Y Kikheto Sema IAS, Commissioner & Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Nagaland while addressing the 2nd Nagaland Harm Reduction Conference, a DIPR report said. He also said that only 16% of the youth (15-24) have comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS; 45% of youth do not know the source of condom, and 37% of sexually active youth are engaged in high-risk sexual behavior (NFHS-IV).
The data of December 2022 in the State indicates that about 21% of the HIV positive cases are those below the age of 24, while the major route of HIV transmission is through the Sexual (87%) and Injecting (6.7%) route. The HIV Sentinel Surveillance of 2021 shows a worrying trend of increase in HIV prevalence amongst the IDU (from 1.3% to 2. 24%).
Kikheto, appreciating all the NGOs and field team who are tirelessly working to reach out to the hidden population and deliver services on time, said that with the active support of NSACS, NACO, development partners and all stakeholders, the State was able to bring down the HIV prevalence amongst IDU from 39% prevalence in 1991 to 2.4% prevalence by 2021. He called upon all concerned to keep on working so that new infections and further transmission of HIV is halted completely in the State.
Kikheto also assured that the Health & Family Welfare Department and the State Government will work closely with all the development partners, stakeholders, NGOs for prevention of drugs, HIV & AIDS and take care of affected people.
The 2nd Nagaland Harm Reduction Conference based on the theme ‘Making a Difference’ was held at Vivor Hotel, Kohima on 28 March. The conference was jointly organized by Kripa Foundation, CDC, PATH, NSACS, NUN, NNagaDAO and CAD Foundation.
Commissioner & Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Y Kikheto Sema IAS addressing the conference stated that this event is important as through it, all the stakeholders can share their experiences, highlight the success, challenges, and strengthen the policies and programs of public health and social security to ensure evidence-based response to drug and HIV /AIDS, and plan out efforts for prevention of disease as well as to take care of the affected people.
Dr. Melissa Nyendak, Director, Division of Global HIV & TB, CDC India, US Government was the special guest at the conference.