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14,000 AIDS patients in country

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 2 December, 2022 12:00 AM
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14,000 AIDS patients in country

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Approximately 14,000 people are now thought to have been suffering from AIDS all over the country while a total of 9,708 have been diagnosed with HIV and 1820 have died until November this year since the discovery of the first case in 1989.

As per the statistics of the health ministry, 947 patients have been infected with AIDS and 232 have died this year.

Of the total number of patients, 0.01 have caught the deadly disease mixing with general people while 4.1 percent have contracted it from people involved in prostitution.

Around 23 per cent of the confirmed patients are not undergoing treatment as many have left the country and those who are in the country are unreachable.

The information was disclosed at a discussion at Osmani Smriti Auditorium in the capital on Thursday marking World AIDS Day. Md Saidur Rahman, additional secretary (administration) of Health Services Division, chaired the event.

Speaking on this occasion, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said most of the AIDS patients have caught the disease while living in the countries of the Middle East and Africa. “They are also transmitting the disease to their family members,” he added.

Many of those who have come from abroad do not even know that they have had AIDS, he said, adding that the government has decided that people who come back to the country will be tested for AIDS again.

This will make it easier for them to provide proper treatment to the affected patients while their family members will be aware of it, Zahid Maleque said.

He said the government is now providing free treatment to AIDS patients here.

“AIDS patients can live longer if they receive treatment. However, thinking about social barriers, they (patients) keep it a secret and infect others without revealing it to anyone. Due to this, the number of AIDS patients is rising day by day,” the minister added.

World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling on global leaders and citizens to boldly recognize and address the inequalities which are holding back progress in ending AIDS; and equalize access to essential HIV services particularly for children and key populations and their partners - men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who use drugs, sex workers, and people in prisons.

It said the global HIV response is in danger, even as HIV remains a major public health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. Over the last few years progress towards HIV goals has stalled, resources have shrunk, and millions of lives are at risk as a result.

Division, disparity and disregard for human rights are among the failures that allowed HIV to become and remain a global health crisis.