AIDS Bomb Ticking in Banda
simple RTI query in Banda about HIV positive/AIDS cases has brought forth the
enormity of the problem in the Bundelkhand region. According to experts, a lot
of these cases can be attributed to the rising level of migration in the region.
Ashish Dixit, the RTI activist who had filed the application, said, “drought and
the resultant farm crisis has turned migration into a habit. The scenario is the
same in all seven districts of the Bundelkhand region.”
Before 2008, there were hardly any HIV/AIDS diagnostic
centres but now there are 10 such centres in Banda, said a source. Cases come to
these centres, in most instances, when infection turns serious, he added. In
five years till 2012, as many as 189 women were detected with HIV/AIDS, of which
43 were pregnant. Similarly, 228 men were tested HIV+ during the period. Of the
total 417 persons who were detected with the infection, 70 are already dead.
“The figures are just a tip of the iceberg. If the number of diagnosed cases is
so high, one can only imagine what the actual picture looks like,” said Dr
Rakesh Babu, district AIDS control officer, Banda.
“Nevertheless, 417 is no less a figure for a small district
like Banda with a population of 18 lakh,” said Mamta Pandey of Abhudaya Sansthan,
an organisation working with HIV/AIDS patients. Pandey said, of late, migration
has become a habit in the region and the migrating population is a major carrier
of the HIV infection.
Courtesy: Hindustan Times