Bangalore, Dec 17 (UNI) Expressing deep concern over the increasing number of HIV/AIDS patients in Karnataka, State Health and Family Welfare Principal Secretary Usha Ganesh today said clinical trials of drugs to combat the dreaded disease had been commissioned in the State.
Speaking to newspersons on the sidelines of the opening of Bilcare Clinical Research Academy here, she said ''the clinical trials of drugs for HIV/AIDS are being done at a few institutions in Northern Karnataka, where the prevalence rate of HIV is very high.'' The official said HIV prevalence rate in southern states, except Kerala, was high. ''The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is about one per cent in Karnataka,'' she added.
Ms Ganesh said the state government was spending a significant amount to create awareness on HIV and its prevention. The Centre was also providing substantial assistance.
Referring to the National Rural Health Mission intended to arrest child and maternal mortality, she said the recently-launched programme had started yielding results. ''The Centre is also contemplating to launch such a programme for the benefit of people living in urban areas,'' she informed.
Emphasising the need to set up more medical institutions in different faculties, she said that despite Karnataka having a large number of medical institutions and pharmaceutical research laboratories, there was a huge shortage of trained and skilled medical personnel.