World Aids Day: The scary digits of infected mothers and children

Subscribe to Oneindia News

It was not long ago when we saw the story of four children whose lives got shattered because their village threw out their whole family because the parents were HIV positive. They had built a shelter on the parents' grave and stayed there till media caught their story and the word spread out.

[Read: UP: Siblings of couple died of AIDS thrown out of village]

There we were and here we are now. On World Aids Day. India is taking part in as many awareness camps, schools and colleges are spreading awareness and medically, we're making many efforts as well.

A new multi-drug regimen is being adopted by eight states, including Maharashtra, on the lines of the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation, reported media.

957 mothers out of the 9,278 live births to HIV-positive mothers between April 2010 and July 2013, were detected to be HIV-positive and out of them, 138 died.

88.7% infections are in the age group 20-49 years

"Not all children born to HIV-infected mothers are positive. Less than five per cent babies contract life-long infection. We aim to reduce this number further by introducing another drug treatment regimen from 2013 onwards," said Dr Asha Hegde, joint director, Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission, Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society.

Currently, only a single dose of this drug - Nevirapine, is administered to the baby after birth. The new multi-drug regimen will include multiple interventions.

"Now, irrespective of the CD4 cell count or the immunity levels, a pregnant woman will be started on a three-drug ART regimen for suppressing the infection levels better, as mandated by the WHO, right from 14 weeks of pregnancy till the time she delivers and starts breastfeeding. Also, instead of one dose of Nevirapine to the baby within 72 hours of birth, the baby will be given the drug for the first six weeks after being born," Hegde said.

But the bigger challenge, she added, is the inability to screen all pregnant mothers in state. Of the 14 lakh estimated pregnant women in 2012-13, up to 12,38,342 were tested.

"We have to fill the gaps, test all mothers and discover hidden cases in the society. We are linking up with private hospitals to ensure better reporting and coverage so that all mothers can be brought into the fold and we achieve the target of ‘zero new infections' in children by 2015," she said.

3.16 lakh infected people, out of the total 24 lakh HIV-positive in India, are in Maharashtra, which is one of the six high prevalence states in the country

Accroding to DNA data, 16,864 were found to be HIV-positive out of the 9,20,522 people tested this year till September 2013

1.83 % of population tested was detected to be HIV-positive

88.7% infections are in the age group 20-49 years.

A transgender participates in a awareness program

A transgender participates in a awareness program for sex workers on the eve of world AIDS day at Kamathipura in Mumbai.

An artist making a sand sculpture on AIDS awareness

An artist making a sand sculpture on AIDS awareness on the eve of World AIDS Day at the bank of river Ganga in Allahabad.

School students holding placards

School students holding placards during a rally on the eve of World AIDS Day in Jammu.

College students taking part in an awareness rally

College students taking part in an awareness rally on World AIDS day in Coimbatore.

College students taking part

College students taking part in an awareness rally on World AIDS day in Coimbatore on Sunday.

Members of 'All India Network of Sex Workers'

Members of 'All India Network of Sex Workers' participating in an awareness campaign on World AIDS day in New Delhi.

Members of 'All India Network of Sex Workers' campaigning

Members of 'All India Network of Sex Workers' participating in an awareness campaign on World AIDS day in New Delhi on Sunday.

AIDS activists during an awareness campaign

AIDS activists during an awareness campaign on World AIDS day in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.

School students during an AIDS awarness rally

School students during an AIDS awarness rally on World AIDS Day at Balurghat in South Dinajpur district of West Bengal on Sunday.

College students taking part

College students taking part in an awareness campaign on World AIDS day in Coimbatore on Sunday.

OneIndia News

Please Wait while comments are loading...