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Rise in HIV patients in Nagaland as world observes World AIDS Day

Kohima, Thu, 01 Dec 2011 ANI

Kohima, Dec 1 (ANI): As the world observes 'World AIDS Day' on Thursday, Nagaland registered an increase in number of patients infected by the HIV virus.


Despite the world celebrating the 23rd World AIDS Day under the theme "getting to zero"- zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, zero AIDS-related deaths, yet many people are falling prey to it.


Many NGOs are working towards creating awareness about the steps that need to be taken to protect oneself from getting infected by this deadly virus.


The NGOs are striving hard to ensure that the people suffering from AIDS are not discriminated by the society and are trying to extend all possible help to them so that they are able to their lives with dignity.


One such organisation, Nagaland Development Outreach (NDO), a local NGO operating in Nagaland is striving hard to overcome all barriers and help the poor, who are infected by this deadly disease.


"Stigma and discrimination seems to be still prevalent, may not be in high rate but still it is a concern to be dealt with as most of the clients are from poor background," said Abraham, Project Manager, NDO.


He also appealed through media to lawmakers to take adequate measures to ensure that all kinds of assistance are provided to the infected patients.


A ray of hope has emerged for the poor and the destitute, infected by HIV as some foundations that are working in the state provide them with expensive medicines and proper medical treatment.


"We are targeting only 20 people, either youth or general community and to sensitize them thoroughly on the basics of HIV and AIDS, how it is transmitted and how it is not because when we are thorough with how it is transmitted we are able to overcome the fear of getting the infection and thus stigma and discrimination will be reduced," said Alem, Program Manager of CAD Foundation, NGO.


"So that when it is reduced PLHIV (People Living with HIV Stigma Index) would be able to come out more openly, get more access to treatment, care services and support," he added.


Reportedly UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS report reveals that about 15 percent of pregnant women living with HIV across India seek treatment too late in their pregnancies-immediately before or during labour-and that they give birth to about 50 percent of all HIV-positive children in the country.


The report further revealed that there are an estimated 2.4 million people living with HIV in India, one of the countries with the highest numbers of people affected with HIV globally.


India's fight against HIV/AIDS over the past decade has been a great success surpassing by far other countries' efforts. (ANI)


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