As many as 27,963 persons have been affected with AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) in Maharashtra as of 2017-18, state Health Minister Deepak Sawant said.
Sawant, in a written reply in the Legislative Council Friday, said the state government has held several programmes under the guidance of the Centre’s National Aids Control Organisation and this has led to a decrease in the number of persons being affected by the deadly virus over the past three years.
He added that under the government’s “Treat All Policy”, Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) was being made available immediately to HIV patients.
Meanwhile, speaking Saturday at a World Aids Day programme organised jointly by the Maharashtra State AIDS Control Institute, state Health Department and Central Railway, Sawant said the number of AIDS patients in the state had reduced by 0.7 percent.
Sawant said society should change its outlook towards AIDS patients, adding that treatment facilities and medicine supply were in place for these patients.
“The guilty feeling in AIDS patients has also reduced. The WHO has set the theme of this World AIDS Day as ‘Know Your Status’ and thus, we must know what our AIDS status is. The information will be kept secret,” he said.
Sawant said each patient should be given NAC tested blood.
“There are certain limits but the government will extend all cooperation for this. NAC tested blood should be available at all blood banks in the state. Treatment centres have been set up in the state to provide proper treatment to each AIDS patient,” he said.