Mysore/Mysuru: Marking the World AIDS Day, an awareness rally was taken out in city this morning which was flagged-off by District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) Member-Secretary Devaraja Bhute from Millennium Circle (LIC Circle) on Bengaluru-Mysuru Road here.
Students of various Pharmacy Colleges and Nursing Colleges in city took part in the rally organised jointly by the District Administration, Zilla Panchayat, District Health and Family Welfare Department, Mysuru, Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society, Bengaluru, District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit, DLSA, Mysuru, NGOs and other organisations.
The rally passed through prominent roads in Bannimantap and culminated at the JSS College of Pharmacy in Bannimantap. A stage programme was held at JSS Pharmacy College which was inaugurated by the students who were joined by the Deputy Commissioner Dr. K.V. Rajendra.
Speaking later, the DC said that to stop the spread of AIDS, awareness programmes are being conducted across the world as there is an increase in AIDS cases. “The main cause of AIDS are due to drugs, use of needles while getting a tattoo and due to unprotected sex etc.,” he said and advised people to not degrade those who are having AIDS but rather to morally support them. Dr. Rajendra advised people to not panic if they are HIV positive and asked them to take treatment before it is too late.
District Health Officer (DHO) Dr. K.H. Prasad said that the HIV positivity rate in Mysuru district has reduced from 0.78 % in 2018-19 to 0.68% in 2022-23 (till October) to 0.42 %. “Mysuru district stands in eighth position in the State in HIV positivity rate as per 2021 data. Belagavi, Dharwad, Vijayapura, Chitradurga, Raichur, Kalaburagi, Bagalkot and Koppal districts have the highest HIV positivity rates. In the whole world, 37 million people are HIV positive. In India, 24.01 lakh people are HIV positive out of which 45% are pregnant women and 2% are children who are below 12 years,” he said.
“In Mysuru district during 2020-21, 521 people out of 91,953 (0.56%) general public and 20 out of 45,636 (0.04%) pregnant women tested positive. In 2021-22, 722 people out of 1,31,964 (0.54%) general public and 24 out of 50,103 (0.04%) pregnant women had HIV and in 2022-23 (till October), 440 out of 1,03,676 (0.42%) general public and 13 out of 32,683 (0.03%) pregnant women tested HIV positive. There is a decrease in HIV positive rate,” he said.
DHO Dr. Prasad said that 25 Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTC) and one mobile ICTC are actively functioning in Mysuru district to provide information about HIV prevention, counsel people to undergo testing and provide testing facilities and also links positive people with treatment, care and support systems. “Three Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) Centres are actively functioning at K.R. Hospital, JSS Hospital and Asha Kirana Hospital in city. In order to provide ICTC service at all taluks in the district, Facility-based Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre (FICTC) are set up at all Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and FICTC service is provided at 22 private hospitals in the district through Public Private Partnership (PPP) model,” he added.
JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research (JSS AHER) Controller of Examination Dr. Sudheendra Bhat presided. Health and Family Welfare Department Assistant Director Dr. Rajeswari, JSS AHER Dean Dr. K.A. Raveesha, K.R. Hospital Senior Medical Officer Dr. B.S. Manjunath, District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit Programme Officer Dr. Mohammed Siraj Ahmed and others were present at the programme.