The number of HIV-positive patients in Chin State increased by more than 100 last year, according to figures compiled by the state’s public health department.
There were 122 new cases of HIV infection diagnosed in nine townships in the state between January and December of 2018, bringing the total to 36,185, the figures showed.
“HIV can be transmitted through unprotected sex, whether heterosexual or homosexual; through contaminated needles and syringes; through intravenous drug use with a shared needle; through blood transfusion; and from an infected mother to her baby,” Dr. Sharon Par, the assistant director of the Chin State Public Health Department, told Khonumthung News.
The most common form of transmission in Chin State was heterosexual sex, she added.
The highest number of new HIV cases was reported in Tedim Township, where 42 people were found to be infected with the virus. Hakha was second, with 22 cases, while Tongzan, Mindat, and Falam all had more than 10 cases each. Cases were also reported in Matupi, Thangtlang, Kanpetlet, and Paletwa townships.
According to Dr. Sharon Par, most HIV-infected people in Chin State are women. There are also a number of cases of children under 12 who were infected through their mothers.
Patients with HIV/AIDS can get antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs in Hakha, Falam, Tedim and Mindat townships. All HIV-positive patients in Chin State can receive free medical treatment.
According to the public health department’s HIV and venereal disease eradication section, 156 patients in Hakha Township have received ART medicine since 2012, 44 patients in Mindat Township have received ART since 2015, 38 patients in Falam Township have received ART since 2017, and 65 patients in Tedim Township have received ART since 2018.