Declining trend of HIV in Meghalaya: Patel

Shillong: Meghalaya is seeing a declining trend in HIV cases, though there is some rise in high-risk groups, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel said on Wednesday.

“Although Meghalaya is not high prevalence with respect to the general population but there is definitely a rise in the high risk groups,” Patel told journalists after inspecting the Integrated Counseling & Testing Centre at Shillong Civil Hospital and the Regional Blood Bank at Pasteur Institute.

The minister visited these two centres to gather a firsthand input on the functioning and implementation of National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) programmes with respect to the target interventions as in addressing to the high risk groups.

“I have been briefed and learnt there has been declining trends of HIV prevalence rates in Meghalaya. I am sure if all of us all put our energies together we can create a more enabling environment for people living with HIV,” Patel said.

Congratulating persons living with HIV for their courage to come out and fight against such social stigma, she also urged organisations and line departments to disseminate the idea of creating an enabling environment and a sensitive community which understands the need for providing moral support to those affected by this deadly disease.

Patel also underscored the need to have a holistic approach towards people affected by HIV/AIDS saying that social stigma still exists in the country.