Port Blair, Dec 2 (UNI) The Andaman and Nicobar AIDS Control Society will soon open four new Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTC) across the union territory to increase the awareness on HIV/ AIDS.
Health department officials said here today the Primary Health Centres of Havelock, Neil and Baratang islands will be given the ICTC status.
''As the tourist traffic to the islands is increasing, there is a need to establish independent ICTC centres to spread awareness among the islanders,'' Dr Mishri Lall, Project Director of the AIDS Control Society said.
Dr Lall added that one ICTC was also set up at Garacharma village in South Andaman to ease the pressure on Port Blair's G B Pant Hospital.
Besides, the Directorate of Health Services of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is also planning to run various programmes of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in 24 other PHCs of the archipelago.
Dr Lall further said that as on October 2007, 86,702 blood samples have been tested in the islands, of which 83,819 samples are of Indian and 2883 samples are of foreign nationals, 335 HIV positive cases were detected from the total number of samples screened, of which 162 are Indian and 173 are of foreign national.
So far 40 AIDS cases were diagnosed, out of which 29 are Indian and 11 are Foreign National and out of these 29 Indians, 20 are from Andaman and nine from Nicobar.
Of these 40 HIV positives, 38 have died, Dr Lall added.