(News) AIDS bomb ticking in Banda
A 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