According to official figures, among the total of 16,700 HIV positive cases reported in the state, over 13,500 cases have been contracted due to sexual transmission. HIV cases spread through blood transmission and use of infected needles have been significantly low, comprising only 10 per cent of the cases in Haryana.
Among these 13,500 cases, nearly 12,000 involve youths between 25 to 49 years of age. While 6,816 cases involve those between 25 to 34 years, those between 35 to 49 years have been affected in 5,255 cases. On the contrary, only 1,257 HIV positive cases have been reported among people who are above 50 years old.
Additional Project Director of Haryana State AIDS Control Society (HSACS), Dr Vijay Garg, said: “The government is promoting the use of condoms to keep a check on HIV positive cases. The percentage of positive cases when compared to the overall population of the state is only 0.1 per cent. We are better off than the other states in terms of prevalence of positive cases.”
Joint director of HSACS, Ram Kumar, added: “Besides supplying free condoms to government hospitals, we also take sell contraceptives at cheaper rates to private chemists. Nearly 60 lakh condoms have been used in the state last year and the government is seeking to promote more usage.”
Garg, however, said the positive side of the story was that while transmission of HIV from pregnant women to newborns was declining. “The mode of transmission through pregnancy is low and has infact stablised,” he said, adding that HSACS was promoting condom usage among homosexuals and female sex works — identified as high risk groups for the transmission of disease.
According to official figures, there are 334 HIV positive homosexuals in the state.