Guwahati, Dec 1 (PTI) Assam Health Minister Keshab Mahanta on Thursday said that the state government is trying to bring in celebrities to spread the message on prevention of HIV/AIDS as people listen to them more than they do to the advice of the administration.
Assam has an estimated 25,073 people living with HIV and proper dissemination of messages is necessary for creating awareness among all strata of society, he said on the occasion of World AIDS Day.
The Assam State Aids Control Society (ASACS) is playing a pivotal role in this direction but it has been found that “people listen more to spiritual gurus and celebrities. So, we are trying to bring in celebrities to spread the message on prevention of HIV,” the minister said.
”Instead of us telling people not to indulge in high-risk behaviours, if a celebrity or popular icon talks about HIV awareness, more people will follow,” he said.
The HIV prevalence rate in Assam is 0.09 per cent, lower than the national prevalence rate of 0.21 per cent, the ASACS said in a release, quoting the NACO HIV Estimation Report.
The total number of people alive by taking AntiRetroviral therapy (ART) is 10,765 in the state.
Kamrup (Metropolitan) district has the highest cases of 7610, followed by Cachar with 5200, Nagaon 1602 and Dibrugarh 1402.
Regarding the route of transmission in Assam, the release said 81.63 per cent is through sex between heterosexuals, 5.54 per cent is through HIV-infected syringes and needles, parent to child is 4.76 per cent, homosexual route is 4.61 per cent, 0.85 per cent through blood transfusions and 2.61 is not specified. PTI DG DG NN NN
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