Karnataka paradox: AIDS cases decline, but awareness is falling too

Survey finds still not many people in rural areas are aware about HIV-Aids

Karnataka paradox: AIDS cases decline, but awareness is falling too

Prevalence of Aids in Karnataka has come down, while people's comprehensive knowledge about it has declined in the last decade.

The prevalence rate for Aids was 1.5% in 2004, which decreased to 0.36% during 2014-2015, according to the latest (2014-2015) HIV Sentinel Surveillance. The prevalence rate is calculated per lakh population.

According to the National Family Health Survey 4, 2015-2016, which was released this year, only 9.5% of the women have comprehensive knowledge about HIV-Aids, while it was 11.6% in the previous survey conducted 10 years ago. The survey also indicated that only around 26% of men had comprehensive knowledge about the disease, while 10 years ago, it was around 29%.

"We do not know why this has happened. We have conducted several programmes across the state to create awareness among the people about Aids," said Govindaraju T, joint director of Information, Communication, Education at Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society (KSAPS).

He said Karnataka ranked fifth in terms of prevalence of Aids in 2012-2013, while the state now stands at eighth position, which is an improvement over the years.

"As much as 86% of the Aids cases in Karnataka are due to sexual contact," he said.

Karnataka has had around three lakh people affected by HIV-Aids since 2004, out of which 80,000 have died.

Following the themes of World Aids Day (December 1) for this year - 'Right to Health,' and 'Everybody Counts' - KSAPS has decided to conduct cultural programmes in Kolar to spread awareness in the rural areas of the district.

Govindaraju said the urban population was aware of the disease, while there was a need to spread awareness in rural areas.

 

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