PALPA, Dec 24: HIV patients' failure to take medicine regularly and to follow doctor's prescription has taken its toll on their health and on their families across the district.
Along with that, it has also affected the government's goal to bring the HIV spread rate to zero by the end of this year in the district.
District Health Office (DHO) informed that 295 people were found to have been affected by HIV/AIDS during the year. Of these 157 are men and 138 women. Apart from that, 38 children also tested positive for HIV.
“Number of people testing positive for HIV continue to increase in the district. Last year there were 265. But this year their numbers have climbed to 295. It is evident that the disease continues to be transmitted,” Madhav Gyawali, information officer at the DHO, informed.
Major challenge to fight against HIV and its transmission is the lack of regular medication for the infected.
He said that the major challenge to fight against HIV and its transmission is the lack of regular medication for the infected. He asserted that until and unless HIV infected patients take their medicines on time and in quantity as prescribed to them by their doctor, tackling the disease is not possible.
HIV infected mothers who do not take medication on time and as prescribed to them, are likely to transmit HIV to the child in womb, he said. “The chance of transmitting the disease to infant from a HIV infected expecting mother increases if the mother fails to take medication as prescribed to her. Apart from that, their own health deteriorates and chances of recovering during pregnancy diminish,” Gyawali stated adding that last year five had succumbed to HIV AIDS. Toll for this year is yet to come.
The district has 26 birthing centers where expecting mothers get counseling and medical services. Apart from other services, these centers also perform HIV tests. The centers are manned by 84 health workers that have been trained for performing HIV/AIDS tests, Gyawali said. “These tests are performed in three stages. If HIV is detected during the initial process, other tests follow,” he explained.
Apart from personal problems of the infected people, lack of medications in the centers and last year, even the earthquake and later economic blockade, hindered regular supply of medicines to the patients, he informed.