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Single percent HIV prevalence amongst population in Nepal

11-30-2011 17:08 BJT Special Report:World AIDS Day 2011 |

By Punjita Pradhan

KATHMANDU, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- HIV prevalence amongst the general public in Nepal is only one percent, a latest factsheet by National Center for Aids and STD Control (NSASC) underlines.

However, over the years, HIV and AIDS epidemic has evolved from low concentrated among High Risk Group.

The High Risk Groups are the Injecting Drug Users (IDU)s, Men who have Sex with Men (MSM), Female Sex Workers (FSW)s, clients of female sex workers and seasonal male labour migrants, according to Dilli Raman Adhikari, Senior Public Health Officer at NCASC.

Adhikari shared that the latest data collected in September 2011 showed a total of 18,535 people infected with the disease where 11,964 are males and 6,571 are females.

According to Adhikari, as per data collected, there were 11.8 percent deaths among the recipients of Anti-Retroviral Therapy ( ART) while 79.3 percent have been alive on the therapy.

The number of males are high in comparison to the female because of their active involvement in IDUs and form a large group of labour migrants.

According to the factsheet, labor migrants currently account for about 3 percent of all HIV infections as a significant proportion of their population has unprotected sex with multiple partners while abroad.

"This is the record number of people who have been diagnosed and are receiving treatment," Adhikari said.

A large number of people who have been infected are yet to be identified.

Likewise, Dibya Raj Joshi, Program Support Co-ordinator at AIDS Healthcare Foundation Nepal, said that the latest number of HIV infected in Nepal is estimated to be around 64,000-66,000.

According to Adhikari, the challenges that confronts Nepal in the epidemic are high rates of migration, poverty, girls trafficking, low status of women in the rural areas amongst others.

"Similarly, there are social issues that prevent people from coming forward to be identified as a patient of HIV because of which they chose to live silently. And lack of funds and economic infrastructure also prevents the treatment amongst a lot of patients," Adhikari said.

The first case of AIDS in Nepal was reported only in 1988.

In 2006, Neal developed a "National Strategy on HIV/AIDS, 2006 - 2011" which is overarching framework to guide, monitor and coordinate an expanded response to the epidemic in Nepal.

Ever since the strategy, Nepal is making fair progress in the field of HIV and AIDS.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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