Bathinda, Punjab: In the wake of detection of more than 100 Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) positive cases and death of two Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) patients in the first 10 months in Bathinda district, the situation seems to be alarming and grim in the district as far as the matter relating to HIV/AIDS cases is concerned.
Sources in the Health Department told The Tribune that from January to October as many as 111 HIV positive cases had been detected in three integrated counselling and testing centres (ICTCs), situated at Bathinda, Rampura and Talwandi Sabo, while two AIDS patients died during this period in the district.
Besides, there may reportedly be more HIV cases that are still undetected in the district.
It is learnt that as many as 77 HIV positive cases were detected at ICTC, Bathinda, while 21 HIV positive cases and 13 HIV positive cases were detected at ICTC, Talwandi Sabo and Rampura, respectively, till October. One person died of AIDS in Bathinda subdivision while the other person died in the Rampura area this year. Both were reportedly truck drivers.
As compared to last year, more HIV positive cases have been detected in Bathinda district this year, as in 2008 91 HIV positive cases had been detected in the area while three persons died of AIDS in the district.
During the first 10 months in 2009, 3,556 blood samples were tested in Bathinda for HIV, of which 77 HIV positive cases were detected while in Talwandi Sabo 1,828 blood samples were tested, of which 21 HIV cases were detected and in Rampura 1,973 blood samples were tested, of which 13 HIV cases were detected.
As per information, in many cases illicit sex relations become cause of HIV disease while in other cases HIV disease is found spreading due to drug addiction, use of untreated syringes, blood donation in some cases by professionals, etc.
However, the record of the HIV and AIDS patients is kept secret to save them from social stigma attached to the disease.