Agartala, Dec 1 (IANS): Increasing AIDS awareness in Tripura and other northeastern States has resulted in more people opting for HIV tests, Tripura Health Minister Badal Choudhury said here on Friday.
"Growing awareness against the dreaded AIDS in Tripura and other northeastern States is bringing more people to come forward for HIV test," Choudhury said at an awareness programme here on the occasion of World AIDS Day. "Also, those who are HIV positive are taking proper medication and treatment in the initial stage."
He said: "In the last financial year (2016-17), the blood of 89,300 people was tested and HIV positive virus found in 295 blood samples. Currently, Tripura has 1,174 AIDS patients."
According to the Minister, the number of HIV positive people in Tripura has been more or less static during the past few years.
Choudhury, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, State Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council Chief Executive member Radha Charan Debbarma, senior officials and thousands of school students and NGOs took part in an awareness rally here on Friday.
Sarkar asked the Tripura AIDS Control Society, under the Health and Family Welfare Department, to involve school, college and university students and various youth organisations in dealing with the AIDS menace.
An official of the Tripura AIDS Control Society, quoting the National AIDS Control Organisation, said that in 2016, there were around 80,000 new cases of HIV infection and 62,000 deaths in the country.
Among the states and union territories across the country, three northeastern States -- Manipur (1.15 per cent), Mizoram (0.8 per cent) and Nagaland (0.78 per cent) -- have the highest prevalence of HIV infection.