Mizoram health minister R Lalthangliana on Monday called upon youth leaders of various churches in the state to fight AIDS or HIV.

Mizoram health minister R Lalthangliana on Monday called upon youth leaders of various churches in the state to fight AIDS or HIV.

Officials said that the rate of spread of HIV is extremely “alarming” in Mizoram.

Addressing one-day sensitization proramme on AIDS for Christian youth leaders here on Monday, Lalthangliana said the alarming spread of AIDS could heavily damaged the society if it is not fought on a war footing from now.

He appealed to youths of all churches to make massive efforts to fight the spread of the deadly disease.

Citing that war against AIDS should begin from every family, Lalthangliana also appealed to all youth members to consider the fight as an integral part of God’s ministry.

Mizoram State Aids Control Society (MSACS) project director Lalthlengliani said that as many as 2,416 people have died due to AIDS and a total of 20,976 HIV positive cases have been detected since 1990 when the first case was detected in Mizoram.

While the rate of HIV prevalence in the country is declining, Mizoram registered a growth, she said.

With 2.04 per cent of its total population being infected, Mizoram has the dubious distinction of being the highest HIV prevalent state in the country, followed by Manipur and Nagaland.

It has been estimated that 9 people are diagnosed with HIV positive everyday in Mizoram.

According to Lalthlengliani, more than 67 per cent of HIV-positive cases were sexually transmitted, while about 28.12 per cent cases were transmitted through sharing needles by intravenous drug users.

She said that several HIV positive cases were found among pregnant women in various districts of Mizoram from January to September this year.

The rate of HIV case is highest among youths in the age group of 25-34 years which accounted 42.38 per cent, she said.

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