HIV cases dip in Pune city, detection rate up in Pimpri

After a decline in the number of new HIV infections this year within the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits, the civic health department is planning to set up HIV testing facilities at 10 civic hospitals. However, in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) there has been a slight increase in detection of HIV cases this year.

Dr Rajeev Bamble, nodal officer, Pune State AIDS Control Society (PSACS), told The Indian Express that 72,555 persons were tested at 17 Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTCs) till October this year and 2,471 of them tested positive.

In 2011, there were 3,745 new HIV infection cases, down from4,440 new HIV cases registered at ICTCs across the city 2010.

Of 994 boys below 14 years, 45 tested HIV positive, while out of 792 girls, 37 tested positive, Bamble said. Among 113 transgenders tested from January till October this year, 9 tested positive for the virus.

There has been a significant drop in the number of new cases, Bamble said. While the HIV detection rate was more than 10 per cent in 2005 at ICTCs, it has now dropped to 3.4 per cent, Bamble said.

The rate of transmission from mother to child has also declined. According to Dr S T Pardeshi, acting chief medical officer of PMC, surveillance measures have been stepped up to keep up with the Getting to Zero theme this World AIDS Day.

Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) has given the go ahead to start counselling and testing for HIV and we will receive test detection kits soon.

When contacted, Dr Anand Jagdale, PCMC health chief, said due to their consistent efforts to create awareness about HIV prevention and testing, there has been a slight rise in the number of detections at the four ICTCs.

According to PCMC officials, out of an estimated 7,000 people (who mainly belonged to high-risk category) tested at ICTC centres from April to October this year, 575 were detected HIV positive. From March 2011 to April 2012, of an estimated 15,000 persons, 994 were detected positive at PCMC ICTC.

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