Manipur hosts a cycle rally to spread HIV/AIDS awareness

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Thoubal (Manipur), Dec 1 (ANI): A lot of people gathered here at the cycle rally held on Sunday (November 29) to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS.

Thousands of enthusiasts took part in the event organised by the Manipur Voluntary Health Association of Imphal. The cyclists rallied through the far-flung villages of the district.

Manipur is placed sixth on the chart of States, where the occurrences of HIV positive cases are found.

With hardly 0.2 percent of country's population, it has nearly 8 percent of total HIV positive cases.

P K Jha, the Project Director of Manipur AIDS Control society (MACS) said the situation here has improved with the passing years.

"We are all aware that Manipur is one of the six high prevalence states of our country. In Manipur, HIV/AIDS entered the general population through sexual routes from the injecting drug users. So, the situation in the beginning was very alarming, but right now with the combined efforts of Manipur AIDS Control Society, our partner non-governmental organizations and other government departments. We have all worked together in this regard and the situation has improved at a large scale," said Jha.

Jha added that till September 2009, Manipur has so far tested 3,38,203 blood samples, out of which 33,408 were found HIV positive.

There is a lot be done to eradicate the disease despite the initiatives taken by various concerned societies.

"National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) has given a free Anti-Retro viral Treatment (ART) which is a very good thing for the HIV patients. But the management of the patients, right from the inception i.e. diagnosis of HIV, going for tests is still not up to the mark. There are a lot of gaps in the whole process," said Dr. K Priyokumar Singh, Anti-Retro viral Treatment (ART) Nodal officer, Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital.

Singh added that the hospitals too need a lot of improvement to deal with the patients carefully with devotion for the cause.

India was thought to have the world's biggest HIV-positive caseload with 5.7 million infections, but a new UN-backed estimate released last year almost halved that number after conducting a new survey based on population rather than specific groups.

According to the warning report, India must keep a close eye on ignorant people not knowing the use of condoms and having no knowledge about AIDS. (ANI)

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