Aizawl District Aids Prevention and Control Committee (DAPCC) has suggested the government to include HIV awareness chapters in the curriculum of high school section of the state.
The suggestions came following a shocking revelation made by the state’s health minister last year that 14,632 HIV positives cases were identified between October 1990 and March 2017.
Mizoram has the second highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the country with a population of over 10 lakh.
The Mizoram State Aids Control society has reported that most numbers of HIV infections are through sex, followed by sharing of syringes and needles by intravenous drug users and most of the HIV positives were between 25 and 34 years of age.
Of the 4,57,678 blood samples tested in Mizoram, 9,894 people were found to be infected with HIV while 1,038 people have died due to AIDS since 1990 till date.
The gravity of the situation has caused concern among the stakeholders and Aizawl DAPCC too, has decided to take new strategy in the fight against the deadly virus.
“The meeting of DAPCC has made several proposals. A proposal will be made to the school education department to include chapters on HIV awareness in the syllabus. An appeal will be made to the larger NGOs of the state like the apex women’s body, the Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl and churches across the state,” government sources said.
So far, churches in Mizoram and NGOs of the state have been working together in the fight against HIV AIDS.
The meeting decided to strengthen ASHA workers and other stakeholders and provide more and easy accessibility to anti retroviral therapy in rural areas of Aizawl district. DAPCC also would ensure that infected people, who need treatment, will be given benefits from Social Welfare, Civil Supplies and Urban Development departments.
National Aids Control Organisation’s (NACO) HIV Sentinel Surveillance 2017 revealed that 20 per cent injecting drug users (IDUs) in Mizoram have HIV, compared to a nationwide prevalence of 6.26 per cent among drug-users. Six states in the Northeast account for 43.5 per cent of IDUs who tested positive for HIV in India. The states in the region with higher than usual national prevalence among IDUs are Mizoram (19.81%), Manipur (7.66%), and Tripura (8.55%).