GUWAHATI, Oct 6 - Who would have ever thought of drawing a link between increased cell phone use to the detection of HIV positive cases!
Researchers working on the changing HIV epidemic scenario have, however, done that in respect of Assam.
�Areas with higher use of communication media, including the cell phone and the internet, have witnessed more detection of HIV positive cases between 2007 and 2102,� a latest research on HIV/AIDS prevalence in Assam suggests.
As per the report, there are also indications of higher literacy rate among women leading to more detection in the State.
�Findings from the study also illustrate a positive correlation between HIV prevalence and usage of internet and mobile phones. This relationship can be explained by the increase in awareness among the population due to the availability of internet and mobile services, which may have increased the uptake of health services including HIV cases,� the latest report of the World Journal on AIDS on �Changing HIV Epidemic in North-eastern India and its Relationship with Development and Programmatic Indicators� published in the World Journal of AIDS (2015) stated.
The analysis, authored by Dr Chiranjeev Bhattacharya and others, also show that some of the less prioritized districts like Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong have shown greater increase in HIV prevalence during 2007 and 2012, where an intensified effort is needed. While Dima Hasao witnessed a jump of 962.5 per cent, the increase in percentage of HIV positivity in Karbi Anglong was 445 per cent.
Further, the study, which has brought to the fore a number of significant indicators related to HIV positive prevalence, including one associating HIV prevalence and the proportion of women having sexually transmitted infection or reproductive tract infection.
Dr Chiranjeev Bhattacharya, one of the authors of the paper, said, �The study only gives a direction to the HIV programme in the State and further research is required to establish the facts.�
�In case of districts like Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong where greater increase in HIV prevalence has been reported, we will have to intensify our efforts and interventions there,� he added.