HIV positive cases rising among pregnant women in Odisha’s Ganjam
Berhampur: Rise in number of pregnant women with HIV positive raises a big concern for the authorities in Ganjam, which tops the state in highest number of HIV/AIDS cases.
As per the district AIDS Cell sources, total 887 pregnant women have been tested HIV positive so far in Ganjam. As many as 26 pregnant women have been detected with HIV positive by October, 2019.
By October this year, Ganjam has registered total 16,011 HIV/AIDS cases.
As the cases are on rise, the labour migrants are considered a vulnerable population for HIV infection.
According to reports, thousands of labourers from the district migrate to other states in search of jobs. They get infected with HIV following which the virus is transmitted to their spouses. This increases risk of babies getting HIV in the womb.
The government has set up Anti Retroviral Treatment (ART) centres at several state-run hospitals in Berhampur, Bhanjanagar, Aska, Polsara and Khallikote for HIV treatment. Even several programmes have been undertaken by National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) under Health & Family Welfare Ministry. Also, there is free medicine system by the State AIDS Prevention and Control Societies (SACS) for the HIV patients in the district.
Despite all initiatives, many pregnant have been reported to be HIV positive in the district.