SHILLONG: Along with the rest of the world, Meghalaya on Thursday also celebrated World Aids Day 2016 with maximum attention concentrated on the discussions on HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and the fight against stigmatization, signature campaign besides others.
While Meghalaya is battling against the spread of HIV/AIDS, the people living with HIV (PLHIV) continue to face stigmatization problems with the unwillingness of the society to accept them.
The alarming increase of number of PLHIV from 87 in 2010 to 2388 (0.06 percent) as of October 2016 is a matter of concern not just for the government but civil societies, health care institutions and the society as a whole.
As per the Civil ART Statistics of October 31, 2016, Meghalaya have a total Pre-ART registration of 2388, 1568 are on ART, those alive on ART are 1146 and there are a total of 119 children living with HIV.
Turning to the national statistics, there are 23, 00, 000 people living with HIV and of March 2016, and more than 10, 00, 000 PLHIV are receiving Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) from 525 government ART centre located at district and municipal hospitals.
Delivering a speech on this occasion at State Central Library, Director of Health Services (MCH&FW) and Joint Mission Director of National Health Mission Dr D Lyngdoh maintained though the percentage is not as alarming as that in the national level, it is however, a matter of concern for the state particular East Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills (East and West) even as he informed that these two districts are vulnerable areas which needs immediate attention.
He informed that East Khasi and Jaintia (East and West) Hills have been included in the list of 20 districts across the country which needed immediate attention in as far as curbing the spread of the epidemic is concerned.
“This issue requires the consulted effort of government departments, public-private sectors, NGOs and the society as a whole,” Lyngdoh said adding that there is a need to ensure that PLHIV are given an enabling environment to live with liberty and free from stigmatization.
Furthermore, he mentioned that this day unifies everyone in the fight against HIV and stigmatization.
Earlier, the chief guest also distributed also felicitated the winners of the logo designing competition for the occasion and later launched the HIV TB Daily Regimen. With this, it was officially announced to roll out FDC based daily regimen for TB HIV co infection and also IPT (Isolated Preventive Therapy) for PLHIV which is a milestone for both the RNTCP and Meghalaya AIDS Control Society.