Ranchi: Out of the 23,600 HIV positive people in Jharkhand, 2.5 percent are children, a UNICEF release said in Ranchi on Thursday.

Quoting a report by National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), the UNICEF said 91% of the HIV positive people are aged between 15-49 years, 2.5% are children and 6.5% are over 50 years.

It said transmission of the HIV virus from mother to child could be entirely prevented, but this would be possible only if all pregnant women are tested for HIV every year.

"At present only 8% of the pregnant women are tested for HIV. For example in 2011, only 61,500 pregnant women were tested for HIV, against total number of about 8.2 lakh pregnant women."

Out of this, the release said, only 38 pregnant women with HIV received treatment to prevent parent-to-child transmission against the estimated number of 527 pregnant women with HIV every year.

Meanwhile, altogether 1806 people in the state were found HIV positive after testing 1,15,000 people till September this year, the release said.

Issuing the figures ahead of December 1 World AIDS Day, it said, the adult HIV prevalence in the state was 0.11% in 2005 and 2006, which increased to 0.13% in 2007 and 2009.
    
In 2009, there were 3,814 new HIV infections in Jharkhand, compared to 1.2 lakh in the country, it said and added there were 836 AIDS related deaths in 2009.

The Jharkhand State AIDS control society has initiated a number of steps for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, the release said, adding, there are 64 Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres in the state where there are facilities for testing and counselling on HIV.

(Agencies)

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