Tripura on high alert after HIV spread: How are students falling victim to the deadly virus?

47 dead, 828 students tested HIV positive so far


A recent report by the Tripura State AIDS Control Society (TSACS) on the HIV scenario in the state has gripped panic in society and raised significant concerns among health authorities. As many as 47 people have lost their lives and 828 students have tested positive for HIV so far. 

The spread of HIV cases especially among the student population revealed an alarming situation. “We have so far registered 828 students who are HIV positive. Out of them, 572 students are still alive and we have lost 47 people due to the dreaded infection. Many of the students have migrated out of Tripura for higher studies in coveted institutions across the country,” a senior TSACS official said.

The HIV data in the state was released during a media workshop organised by the Tripura Journalist Union, Web Media Forum, and TSACS.

According to officials, the main reason for the HIV spread among the students is due to injectable drug use. The cases are spread across 220 schools and 24 colleges and universities in Tripura. 

Officials added that five to seven cases among students are reported on a daily basis. 

"So far, 220 schools and 24 colleges and universities have been identified where students are found to be addicted to intervenous drug abuse. We have collected the data from a total of 164 health facilities across the state. Reports are collected from almost all the blocks and subdivisions before making this presentation," said the official. 

Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) centres have registered 8,729 cases till May 2024. “The total number of people who are alive with HIV is 5,674. Among them, 4,570 are males, while 1,103 are females. Only one patient among them is a transgender," said Subhrajit Bhattacharjee, Joint Director of TSACS.

The report also pointed out that the children infected belonged to affluent families, where both parents are in government service and don't hesitate to fulfil the demands of the children. "By the time they realize that their children fell prey to drugs, it was too late,” said Bhattacharjee.

With the HIV spread in the state, the need for enhanced awareness and proactive measures to curb the epidemic is in focus now. 


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