Mizoram state health minister, R. Lalthangliana said that the state at present has 10,565 people living with AIDS.

With 2.32 per cent of its total 10.91 lakh population (2011 census) being infected, Mizoram currently has the dubious distinction of being the highest AIDS prevalent state in the country.

On the occasion of World AIDS Day on Tuesday, Lalthangliana said that the state government will open four more anti-retroviral therapy (ART) centres in the state apart from the existing eight to treat people living with AIDS.

This year the theme for World AIDS Day was ‘global solidarity, shared responsibility.’

Also read: Mizoram tops in AIDS prevalence

The proposed ART centres will be opened in Lawngtlai and the three newly created districts of Hnahthial, Khawzawl and Saitual.

The minister also launched the “Painting the Town Red Campaign”, India to spread awareness about AIDS especially, the use of contraceptives to curb the transmission of HIV.

The campaign has been organised by Mizoram State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) in collaboration with the AIDS Health Foundation.

The minister said that majority of the HIV infection in the state have been found to be transmitted through “unprotected sex.”

Free contraceptives will be stored in business shops, taxis and two-wheeler bikes as a part of the campaign to reduce the high incidence of AIDS in the state.

A total of 78.01 per cent of the HIV-positive cases were transmitted sexually, while more than 20 per cent cases were transmitted through shared needles among intravenous drug users.

Nagaland ranks second in the country with 1.45 per cent of its total population being infected with the deadly disease.

According to MSACS, 23,092 people have been diagnosed with AIDS in the state so far.

More than 2,600 people have succumbed to the disease since October 1990 when the first case had been detected in the state.

It has been estimated that about 1.19 per 1000 people are diagnosed with HIV in the state

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