HIV or human immunodeficiency virus has no cure and the medical fraternity has been trying hard to treat people infected with it. Now shocking data reveals that more than 85,000 people got infected with HIV due to unprotected sex during the coronavirus lockdown in 2020-21. According to TOI, the highest number of HIV cases during lockdown 1.0 was reported from Maharashtra (10,498) followed by Andhra Pradesh (9,521) and Karnataka (8,947).
The data was provided by National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) in response to an RTI query from Neemuch-based activist Chandra Shekhar Gaur.
In the same reply, NACO said that over 17 lakh people contracted HIV in the country in the last 10 years due to unprotected sex.
However, the number of people contracting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) in the last 10 years has come down significantly. HIV transmission by unprotected sex was recorded in 2.4 lakh people in 2011-12, while the number reduced to 85,268 in 2020-21.
Among the states, Andhra Pradesh recorded the highest number of such cases of HIV transmission at 3,18,814 followed by Maharashtra at 2,84,577, Karnataka at 2,12,982, Tamil Nadu at 1,16,536, Uttar Pradesh at 1,10,911 and Gujarat at 87,440 cases.
Also, 15,782 people contracted HIV by transmission through blood and blood products from 2011-12 to 2020-21, and 4,423 contracted the disease by mother to child transmission according to 18 month antibody testing data.
Among all states and Union territories, a consistent decline in cases of transmission of HIV was seen, the data said.
As of 2020, there are 23,18,737 people living with HIV, including 81,430 children, in the country.
The information on modes of transmission of HIV has been recorded by the counselor from the response given by HIV positive individuals during the time of pre-test/post-test counseling so the data is self-reported, the RTI application said.
HIV attacks the body’s immune system. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
The virus can be transmitted through contact with infected blood, semen or vaginal fluids.
Within a few weeks of HIV infection, flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat and fatigue can occur. Then the disease is usually asymptomatic until it progresses to AIDS. AIDS symptoms include weight loss, fever or night sweats, fatigue and recurrent infections.