HIV Positive: More than 800 students test HIV positive in this state, 47 deaths recorded: Full report | – Times of India

HIV Positive: More than 800 students test HIV positive in this state, 47 deaths recorded: Full report | – Times of India

An alarming report on HIV has shocked all. As per the report, 828 students have tested HIV-positive and 47 have died in the state of Tripura.
“We have so far registered 828 students who are HIV positive. Out of them, 572 students are still alive and we have lost 47 people due to the dreaded infection. Many of the students have migrated out of Tripura for higher studies in coveted institutions across the country,” according to a senior official of the Tripura State AIDS Control Society (TSACS).

What’s the reason?

Tripura AIDS Control Society has identified students from as many as 220 schools and 24 colleges and universities who take injectable drugs.
“So far, 220 schools and 24 colleges and universities have been identified where students are found to be addicted to intravenous drug abuse. We have collected the data from a total of 164 health facilities across the state. Reports are collected from almost all the blocks and subdivisions before making this presentation,” the Joint Director of TSACS told ANI.
“In most of the cases, the children belong to affluent families who are detected positive to HIV. There are families where both parents are in government service and don’t hesitate in fulfilling the demands of the children. By the time they realize that their children fell prey to drugs, it was too late,” he added.

Needle sharing is a primary mode of HIV transmission

HIV/AIDS remains a significant global health issue, with a notable link to intravenous drug abuse. Needle sharing among drug users is a primary mode of HIV transmission, facilitating the spread of the virus through blood-to-blood contact. In many regions, such behavior accounts for a considerable proportion of new HIV infections.
Factors contributing to this link include risky injection practices, limited access to sterile needles, and marginalization of drug-using populations. Sharing needles, syringes, or other injection equipment increases the likelihood of HIV transmission exponentially, as the virus can survive outside the body in residual blood.
Efforts to combat this issue include harm reduction strategies such as needle exchange programs, which provide sterile equipment to drug users to reduce infection risk. These programs also offer counseling, testing, and referrals to addiction treatment services, aiming to curb HIV transmission while addressing substance use disorders.
However, challenges persist, including stigma against drug users, legal barriers to harm reduction initiatives, and the complex social and economic contexts in which drug abuse occurs. Addressing the intersection of HIV and intravenous drug use requires comprehensive approaches that integrate public health, social services, and community engagement to mitigate risks and support affected individuals effectively.

Antiretroviral Therapy

“Till May 2024, we have registered 8,729 people in the ART (Antiretroviral Therapy) centres. The total number of people who are alive with HIV is 5,674. Among them, 4,570 are males, while 1,103 are females. Only one patient among them is a transgender,” as per an official.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the cornerstone treatment for HIV/AIDS, consisting of a combination of medications that suppress the replication of the virus in the body. By inhibiting viral activity, ART helps to maintain low levels of HIV in the blood, known as viral load, which preserves immune function and prevents progression to AIDS. This therapy doesn’t cure HIV but effectively controls it, allowing people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives. Adherence to ART is crucial for its effectiveness, requiring daily medication intake as prescribed. Continued research aims to improve ART regimens for better outcomes and reduced side effects.

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