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6 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Preventing HIV/AIDS

The health ministry has found a total of 865 people infected with immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in the country during November 16 of 2016 to October 17 of this year. According to a report of this newspaper yesterday, the ministry came up with the information marking the World AIDS Day held on December 1, with a slogan of "Amar sastho amar odhikar" (My health is my right) in a press conference at secretariat on Monday. The ministry informed that the HIV positive 865 patients (male- 639 and female-213) were spotted after examining a total of 77,725 people across the country during the last one year. Approximately, a total of 5,586 people since 1989 to 2017 were infected with AIDS.

Though the number of HIV-infected persons declined around the globe over the past 10 years, Bangladesh, on the contrary, has witnessed a spurt in numbers of the HIV-infected people. It is one of the few countries where HIV situation has been showing a deteriorating trend. What is worrying is that treatment of AIDS is expensive and life-long. In the backdrop of rapid population growth, high poverty rate and gender gap, Bangladesh remains quite vulnerable to HIV epidemic.

Startling revelation is those who take drugs through the vein on a regular basis, sex workers and migrant Bangladeshis run the risk of HIV infection. Majority of those who are HIV-infected are unaware of available testing and treatment facilities and scores of others suffer from the social stigma of the malady. According to a survey, the tendency to go through HIV screening among adults in the country is the lowest in the Asia-Pacific region. All these speak of a deteriorating HIV situation in the country. This warrants serious attention of the relevant authorities. There is no scope to take the scourge lightly.   

It is heartening to note that various state-run organizations and NGOs are engaged in screening HIV infection and treating AIDS in the country. This should be strengthened. More such measures should be taken to prevent the disease. If preventive measures are not taken seriously, it is estimated by the UNICEF that prevalence of AIDS is likely to reach 8 per cent from the current 0.1 per cent by 2025. And this is a major cause of concern for the health sector.

Due to resource constraints, Bangladesh cannot afford to face the likely disaster of HIV epidemic. So, what is needed is adopting appropriate strategies and execution of it to prevent and treat the disease and ensure proper care for the HIV infected.            

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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