Srinagar: As Kashmir observes the ‘World Aids Day’ the total number of deaths caused due to AIDS for the year 2016-17 in the state has gone up to 273. The number of deaths caused due to this deadly disease was 628 till the year 2015, however, the figure has now jumped to 901 in 2017.
In Kashmir division alone 102 deaths have occurred so far because of AIDS, out of which 23 deaths have occurred in Kashmir division in the year 2017, and the rest are reported to have occurred in other divisions of the state, especially Jammu.
During this period 869 cases of AIDS cases were also registered from various ‘Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres’ (ICTC) in Kashmir.
As per details given by the officials at Jammu and Kashmir State AIDS Control Society, Srinagar, there have been a total number of 5399 cases of AIDS registered in the state, with 4328 patients testing positive for HIV, out of which 901 patients have died in the entire state.
The figures are still not considered to be alarming as the figures are not yearly, but since the inception of the prevention and control project in the state.
“The entire scenario is under control, however the figures for Kashmir division are depicting that the numbers have gone up”.
In Kashmir division, a total number of 246 patients have been tested HIV positive, out of which 52 tested positive in 2017. These patients are undergoing treatment at various Antiretroviral Centres (ART), claim the officials.
“The figures cannot be termed as high, or alarming, however, it is the data since the inception of the project in the state,” said Imtiyaz Ahmad Khan, Assistant Director Laboratory Services, Jammu and Kashmir State AIDS Control Society (JKSACS).
Notably, JKSACS has so far not been able to project if the number of cases has gone up in the state from last 5 years, or even from the inception of the project.
“It is because people are not forth coming to carry out diagnostic tests for AIDS, in order to prevent themselves and their families from catching the infection,” said Khan, adding “it would have also helped us in coming out with the latest trends in the disease in the state.”
In Kashmir, as per officials, the AIDS cases come to the fore majorly when a woman has to deliver a baby, and there the medicos carry out the required tests, “here, only that time we come to know about such cases, else we don’t see anyone coming forward to get the tests done,” he said.
While terming the emerging trend as alarming, he said that at the point of delivery, if the female tests positive for AIDS, there are three lives that are at stake, male—if positive, female and the one who is yet to be born.
The figures that have come up so far also point out to the fact that Jammu division witnesses more cases of AIDS than Kashmir
“There is a reason for this, Jammu has got a larger interaction with the people living in other adjacent states such as Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, thus there are more cases of AIDS that have been reported so far,” said Khan.