AIDS killed 1761 in Bagalkot over 5 yrs

AIDS killed 1761 in Bagalkot over 5 yrs

The number of people dying of HIV/AIDS in Bagalkot district is on the rise. Since 2006, as many as 1,761 people in the district have died of the disease, creating a scare in the population.

The district has 17,917 people afflicted with HIV, giving it the dubious distinction of being the district with the highest number of AIDS-infected people in the State, and the third in the country, said District Aids Prevention Unit Programme Officer Dr S H Arahunasi.

As many as 14,610 people have registered for treatment at the Bagalkot ART centre. In Mudhol ART centre as many as 1,747 infected persons have registered and at Jamkhandi the number is 1,560.

Since 2006, 1,708 people died of AIDS in Bagalkot district alone, while 44 people died of the disease in Mudhol. In Jamkhandi taluk, nine people have succumbed to the disease, said Arahunasi.

Since 2007, as many as 863 women afflicted with AIDS have given birth in the district.

Devadasi system

The dreaded disease is widespread in Mudhol, Mahalingapura, Vijapura, Jamkhandi, Kambale Galli, Siddapura, Kadakola, Kanakanvadi, Kumbarahalli, Banahatti, Rabakavi, Baragi, Chimmada and Teradal owing to rampant prostitution. The practice of Devadasi system in the district is one of the contributing factors for increase in the occurrence of AIDS.

Women from poor socio-economic backgrounds, who indulge in unsafe sex, contribute to the widespread growth of the disease in the district, said Dr Hanumantha G.

In order to contain the spread of the disease, three ART centres have been established in Bagalkot, Mudhol and Jamkhandi, in addition to 11 link ART centres, said District Health and Family Welfare officer Dr A B Chowdhry.

Several NGOs like Ichap, Jeevana Jyothi, Gowtham and Ujwala have been working tirelessly in the district for several years now to tackle the disease.

Former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy had tried to create awareness about Aids by staying at the house of a HIV-inflicted person at Ingalgi village in Mudhol taluk. Despite his efforts, the situation continues to remain grim in Bagalkot district.

After Bagalkot, Belgaum and Bijapur districts are in the second and third place in the State with regard to higher prevalence of HIV-Aids, according to statistics issued by the Department of Health.

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