Mumbai: To mark World Aids Days, the BMC is launching the website for Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS). Called E-Nirantar, it will provide online services to people living with HIV. Senior health officials said that several queries go unaddressed, and an online facility will help with answers in a single click.
Additional Project Director Dr Vijay Karanjker said the website is a collective effort to remove taboos, confusions and myths surrounding HIV/AIDS. People have several questions but they don’t know who to talk or contact. “With this e-service, they will be able to book appointments online and get tele-consultations,” he said, adding that it will help hear unheard voices.
Dr Karanjker added, “We have a team of experts to help people get proper treatment. HIV patients can book appointments for testing and can also upload their reports that will be examined by doctors available on the online platform. Besides doctors, the website will offer a panel of counselors to address mental health issues.” He said MDACS will also hold awareness camps at railway stations, which will be advertised through the website.
HIV testing, which took a backseat during the Covid-19 pandemic, has now returned to the pre-pandemic levels. As per MDACS, 4, 75,540 people were tested in 2019-20, out of which 0.9% (4,473) were found to be HIV positive. In 2021-22, out of 3,87,399 people tested, 0.08% (3,087) were found to be HIV positive. In the current year – April to October – 0.08% (1,910) have been found HIV positive out of 2,52,962 people tested.
In 2021-22, there were 1,245 deaths reported in the city, while in 2019-20 (pre-Covid), 1,265 deaths were reported. This year, from April to October, 487 people have died due to HIV.
Senior MDACS officials said they have been working hard to create greater awareness through different modes of communication. However, there is a need to reach out to the younger, high-risk category of people. Even private hospitals treat patients but there is no counselling for them.
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