SRINAGAR: Eighty new cases of HIV have been detected in occupied Jammu and Kashmir till March 15 this year, taking the total number of people detected with the HIV to 1,210 in the State so far. “So far 1,210 cases of HIV/AIDS have been reported in Jammu and Kashmir. The number was 1,130 last year,” State AIDS Prevention and Control Society Director M A Wani said here.
He said 92 per cent of the victims were in the age group of 20-50 years. “Although the number of HIV cases in the Valley is very low, the growing number of Intravenous Drug Users (IDUs) pose a major challenge,” he said. “Kashmir has thousands of IDUs. The IDUs alone make up more than four per cent AIDS cases in India,” he said adding 250 IDUs have been identified in Srinagar.
He said the SAPCS has so far short listed six NGOs to help the IDUs in de-addiction and sanctioned projects to some of them. “As far as creating awareness among people is concerned, Jammu and Kashmir tops the charts. We have been able to achieve 88 per cent success, 17 per cent above the national percentage of 61,” Wani said.
He said Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education has also decided to include a compulsory paper on AIDS for the 9th standard and have at least one question on this topic in the final exams for 10th standard. Wani said the SAPCS had already trained clerics, teachers and students to educate people at the grassroot level. He said, “we have covered about 70 per cent of higher secondary schools and 90 per cent medical staff, including doctors. They work as ambassadors of our project.”-SANA