Agartala, July 22: Tripura launched a campaign to sensitise the elected representatives of urban and rural local bodies to fight against the increasing incidences of HIV among the youngsters mostly due to injectable drug (ID) users.
Tripura AIDS Control Society sources said an average of two persons have been found HIV positive each day in Tripura, which is not only alarming but also leading the state into a health crisis.
The statistics revealed that HIV was transmitted to over 98% of the infected population through injections in Tripura followed by unsafe sex and blood transmission.
“Tripura has become a hub of the drug suppliers among schoolchildren, potential workforce and diverted the youngsters from creative activities and cultural events. This racket is driving young minds towards crime and making the state hazardous for a decent living index,” said a senior health official of the state, adding that the trends of drug use indicated that Tripura will soon be equated with Mumbai and Imphal.
Addressing the first sensitisation programme of councillors of Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Thursday, the project director of AIDS Control Society and state surveillance officer Dr Deep Debbarma said in Agartala city that the number of HIV cases was increasing alarmingly among the injectable drug users.
As of now, Tripura has 3,096 AIDS patients so far brought under treatment and in April and May this year TACS identified 112 injectable drug users who were diagnosed HIV positive.
The highest number of positive cases in the last four years were identified in 2021-22 at 1,124 cases while the figure was 277 in April and May this year, Dr Debbarma highlighted.
“Once North Tripura, bordering Mizoram and Assam, was the epicentre of HIV transmission but now West Tripura (Agartala and surroundings) are topping the list followed by North Tripura and Dhalai districts. Most of the positive patients belong to the 16-24 years of age group, studying in schools and colleges,” he stated.
More than 500 people in and around Agartala have been identified as active ID users and a sizable number of them is HIV positive.