Mumbai: The increase in the HIV cases among the vulnerable risk groups has forced the Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) to re-think on effective strategies to step up the awareness about the deadly disease among youth.
According to the statistics, in the year 2022-2023, around 14,347 people were identified with HIV in Maharashtra, of which 5-6% (674) were in the 17-22 age group.
Surge in HIV cases among adolescents
A senior official said that considering the surge in the case among adolescents, they have listed 14,000 colleges across the state where Red Ribbon Clubs (RRC) will be organised. According to MSACS data, there are approximately 2.36 lakh people living with HIV in Maharashtra and in Mumbai there are more than 4,000 HIV-positive persons.
Meanwhile, according to the data provided by the Mumbai Districts Aids Control Society (MDACS), this year from April to August, the city has recorded 1,432 HIV cases, which means around 12 people are identified with HIV per day.
Dr Ishwar Gilada, consultant in HIV, STDs, and Infectious Diseases and President-Emeritus, AIDS Society of India, has said that there has been a slow rise in HIV cases among adolescents which is not good for society. There is a need for conducting RCC to promote awareness about HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
Scientific sex education- need of the hour
“Plenty of sex material is available on the net or on campus and young people surely explore. But scientific sex education is opposed or at best shied away. A third of young people, especially males, visiting our clinic had their first sex experience as ‘abuse’. And it is common that an abused person becomes an abuser in due course,” said Dr Gilada.
The RRC is a movement started by the Government of India in schools and colleges through which students will spread awareness of HIV / AIDS as well as promote voluntary blood donation among youth between the age of 17-25 years.
A senior health official from the state health department said, “There is no watch on adolescents of what they are doing or watching on social media. Moreover, there are several dating apps and indulging with strangers online without knowing the risk factors. The current generation is way ahead of everything due to conducting awareness camps to promote HIV which has taken a backseat.”
AIDS cases in Maha: 2.36 lakh
2022-2023: 14,347 people identified with HIV
5-6% (674) were in the 17-22 age group
AIDS control society lists 14,000 colleges across state where Red Ribbon Clubs will be organised
AIDS cases in Mumbai: Over 4,000