DIMAPUR, July 15 � Altogether 552 persons, including 52 children, have died of AIDS in Nagaland since 1994 till June 2011 out of a total of 3,933 cases reported.
This was stated by Commissioner & Secretary, Health & Family Welfare Menukhol John in a power-point presentation on HIV/AIDS programme during the first-ever consultative meeting of Nagaland Legislators Forum (LFA) on AIDS executing committee with State AIDS Control Society officials and functionaries of NGOs here.
A total of 7,463 patients have registered for ART while 2,595 children are living on ART during the period. It was pointed out that 87 per cent of transmission is through sexual route, 5 per cent from parent to child, 4 per cent from injecting and remaining 4 per cent from �others�. The age group between 25-49 years constitutes 74 per cent of the total infected.
Meanwhile, Nagaland Assembly Deputy Speaker Ralanthung Yanthan called upon the various NGOs involved in the cause of HIV and AIDS in the State to extend support to each other in order to better fight the disease.
Making an introductory remark, Yanthan said all the NGOs working towards curbing the dreaded disease have specific roles to play and they should provide the support base to each other. He also stressed the need to have single statistical figures on AIDS prevalence while stating that different figures from different organisations cause confusion and undermines proper planning of activities.
Voicing happiness that the HIV prevalence rate in the State has come down to 0.78 per cent, he said the NGOs and government bodies should work towards bringing it further down or at least to maintain the level.
Highlighting the activities of LFA, he said the 60 MLAs of NLA are contributing Rs 1 lakh each annually in order to hold awareness campaigns in their respective constituencies and also extend support to the NGOs working in the field.
Raising issues of concern during the interactive session, the chief functionaries of NGOs requested the LFA to write to NACO to seriously consider the suggestions and recommendations of the Naga organisations before implementing the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP)-IV. They also stressed the need to make quality condoms available and formation of harm reduction policy and also to enforce pre and post HIV test counseling.