GANGTOK, November 27: As the whole world joins hand in observing the World AIDS Day with the vow of preventing the ailment on December 1, the toll of HIV/AIDS patients in Sikkim has reached 157.
The year 2009 alone recorded 26 HIV/AIDS cases in Sikkim, which authorities reveal is less than it was recorded last year. The Sikkim State Aids Control Society had recorded the highest number of cases in 2008, which numbered to 46. However, no cases of HIV positive were recorded in 1996.
The latest SSACS statistics reveals that 102 males and 55 females are infected with HIV.
According to the statistics, East District dominates the numbers with 91 male and 51 female cases while the West District records the least number with 1 male and 1 female case.
No female with HIV/AIDS have been detected in North District except for 2 male cases.
The data further reveals that 47 persons aged between 30-39 years are victims of HIV/AIDS, 2 below the age of 10, 1 case between 11-19 years, 31 cases aged between 20-29, 17 cases between 40-49years and 4 above 50 years.
“132 HIV/AIDS patients are infected through sexual mode while 11 are through injecting drug, 3 from infected parent to child, 5 from infected blood transfusion and 6 cases are still waiting for the finding of it’s mode of transmission,” sources said.
As a step towards spreading awareness to the people, there are integrated counselling and testing centers in Sikkim including one mobile van ICTC which are also providing facility to prevent parent to child transmission, said Namgyal T. Sherpa, SSACS Project Director.
He added that the AIDS Day celebration would be low key in the Capital this year with few rallies and awareness programmes. “This time we have got less fund allocation from the National AIDS Control Organization so there would be no major events related with World AIDS Day,” the project director said.