Gangtok: The number of AIDS cases is on a rise in Sikkim. The deadly disease has claimed 28 lives so far in the state while a test sample of 10,000 reported 205 people as HIV positive.
“The disease is on a rise in the state because of unprotected sex,” says project director, Sikkim State AIDS Control Society, V Singhi.

He added, “People contract the disease through unprotected sex, and commercial sex workers are contributing most to the rise in this disease.”

Around 750 sex workers are involved in this trade and many of them are HIV positive. This is a serious situation. The NGOs are counseling the commercial sex workers and raising the awareness level in them, he said.

“We are motivating the commercial sex worker to raise awareness level among common men. We are taking care of the HIV positives, 131 males and 65 females. They are being provided free counseling and medicine,” said Singhi.

Further, he said the society has formed special plan for drug users hailing from Eastern Sikkim. We are raising the awareness level among them regarding AIDS. 
Another organization, Sikkim Voluntary Health Association is also raising awareness level among the masses.