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Nagaland has highest HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women nationwide: Dr. Zaiwang

Nagaland News

KOHIMA, MAY 21: HIV prevalence rate in Nagaland in alarmingly high at 1.61% making it the 2nd highest in the country after Mizoram’s 2.3%. The national prevalence rate is 0.22%. Nagaland has also the highest HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women nationwide.
This was revealed by Dr. Zaiwang, Deputy Director of STI and nodal officer for the Integrated Health Campaign, (IHC), Nagaland Aids Control Society (NSACS), at an integrated health campaign launch today hosted by DC, Dimapur.
Also speaking in the programme, NSACS Project Director Dr. Ahu Sekhose reinforced the necessity of collective action. From April 2023 to March 2024, a total of 48,777 individuals were tested for HIV across Nagaland, with 960 testing positive. Among these, 919 (2.2%) were general clients and 41 (0.6%) were antenatal care (anc) clients, indicating a significant number of HIV cases among pregnant women.
The data underscores the pressing need for comprehensive health initiatives and destigmatization efforts to improve testing and treatment rates among vulnerable populations.
Earlier in the programme, Dr. Zaiwang presented critical data on the health landscape of the 3 districts involved. He informed that the combined population of the districts of Dimapur, Chumukedima and Niuland stands at 1,77,087 with an estimated 9,662 people living with HIV. However, Department officials said that the actual number of PLHIV could be significantly higher due to underreporting and social stigma.
Dr. Zaiwang reported that out of the estimated 9,662 PLHIV in the 3 districts, only 3,034 are currently receiving antiretroviral therapy as of March 2024. This leaves 6,628 individuals without treatment, highlighting the urgent need for increased outreach and support services.
The campaign data also detailed targeted interventions for high-risk groups, including injecting drug users, female injecting drug users, men who have sex with men, transgender individuals, female sex workers, truckers and migrants.
EAC, Dimapur, Imlijungla emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts for the success of integrated health campaigns. She urged various stakeholders ~ Medical Departments, NGOs, the public and unions ~ to work together to ensure the programmes are effective and sustainable. Imlijungla highlighted the alarming statistics of health issues among pregnant women in the district and stressed the critical role of early screening and prevention.
(Page News Service)