AIDS scare in Bolangir in Orissa

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Bolangir (Orissa), June 27 : Villagers of Sibtala village in Orissa's Bolangir District have volunteered to undergo blood analysis to be conducted by the district administration to remove their fears after a fellow villager has been detected HIV positive.

29-year-old Ratan was tested HIV positive a month back. His infection was confirmed in the Behrampur Centre of HIV/AIDS.

Later, he publicly disclosed about his infection in the village, which sounded red alert among the natives.

Ratan confessed that it was because of his sexual relationship with multiple women in and out of the rural community, that he was infected by the incurable disease.

Villagers panicked and urged the authorities to organise a medical camp in the village to check any cases.

"This disease is incurable. So, everybody should join hands to eradicate it. Moreover if early treatment begins, it can be detected sooner and can be treated at the earlier stage as well," said Hrushkesh Hota, a villager.

The HIV blood test camp was organised in the village by the District Health Department.

"Some villagers have voluntarily asked and demanded for medical check up as the patient himself has confessed that he had sexual affairs with multiple partner of that village," said Purna Chandra Sahu, Assistant District Medical Officer-cum-Aids controller, Bolangir District.

People of Sibtala village have displayed a unique courage in checking and preventing the dreaded disease despite being fully aware of social consequences of such issues becoming public.

The villagers also organised a big rally in order to spread awareness among the people on HIV/AIDS in which about 500 people participated comprising of 300 females and 200 males.

The number of people estimated to be living with HIV-AIDS in India is about 2.47 million. Yet over 40 per cent of Indian women have not heard of AIDS, creating a dangerous combination of lack of knowledge and greater sexual activity.

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