Dehra: The “National Family Health Survey-3 2005-06” reported that only 6% of rural women and 16% urban women in Himachal Pradesh knew the location of the nearest Govt HIV Testing facility. As per District Level Household survey 2007-08, only 5.4% of married women have undergone testing HIV in the region, compared to 11.3 % the national level.
Dr RK Sood, DAPO Kangra, told that HP SACS is striving to increase utilization of free HIV Counselling & Testing Services.
As part of this programme, the “Know your Status” drive aims to raise awareness about facilities as well as provide services at the doorstep of residents in an outreach mode. Under the campaign, a mass awareness cum testing camp was held at Paragpur by the staff of Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre, Dehra. Suresh Patyal of Gram Sudhar Sabha Paragpur told that of the 92 people in the awareness camp, 81 people opted to avail the free HIV test.
Atul Kumar from ICTC Dehra told that most people who are HIV infected don’t know their status till they develop AIDS. A HIV positive person can be clinically healthy and the only way to know one’s status is through a blood test, akin to early detection of heart disease by ECG.
Dr Anil Mahajan, CMO Kangra told that under the National AIDS Control Programme, five Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres have been established in District Kangra at civil hospitals of Palampur, Kangra, Dehra; Zonal Hospital Dharamshala, & Medical College Tanda where free & confidential HIV testing services are available.
Earlier this month, 133 people got tested for HIV at Sansarpur Terrace.