The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) seropositivity, an indicator of the presence of the deadly virus, has come down from 10.6% to 5% in the past five years, announced Mumbai District AIDS Control Society on the eve of its 14th anniversary on Friday.
In fact, many indicators used to assess the spread of disease in the general population show a downward trend. These include the lower-than-ever presence of the virus among pregnant women, a dip from 1.24% in 2005 to 0.38% in 2012, which public health experts say is the best indicator of the presence of the disease.
“The MDACS believes that people need to be aware, motivated, equipped and empowered with knowledge so that they can protect themselves from the impact of HIV. We confront a stark reality – HIV can happen to any of us. Our hope is that anyone can be saved from the infection with appropriate information on prevention,” said project director Dr Kishore Kshirsagar of MDACS.
Additional project director Dr Balkrisna B Adsul of MDACS said, “Mumbai plays a crucial role in the HIV prevention and control programme as it’s at the pinnacle of modernisation, given the rise in its population, migration and the metropolitan growth
and prosperity. With the progress, comes the stark reality of people being exposed to the HIV risk.”
Hence, the need to pay key attention to the prevention programme. “With a vast number of 50 targeted intervention projects, the city aims to control new infections and strengthen its prevention strategy by building the capacities of NGOs and their staff,” added Adsul.