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Meghalaya is one of the states in India with an increasing trend of new HIV infection, a health official said on December 1.

“The adult HIV prevalence rate in Meghalaya is 0.42 per cent which is higher than the national average which stands at 0.21 per cent,” project director, Meghalaya AIDS Control Society, B Decruse said.

Speaking on the occasion of World AIDS Day, Decruse said: “An estimated number of people living with HIV is 8692, out of those 4996 know their status, 3718 are on Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) 2356 are virally suppressed.”

Stating that HIV and AIDS can be controlled if inequalities in the society are addressed and tackled.

Principal secretary, health and family welfare Sampath Kumar, said: “We need to be proactive in our support to bring change in attitude towards HIV and people living with HIV. Issues and challenges related to stigma and discrimination must be addressed by all communities to ensure equality.”

Expressing concern over teenage pregnancy in the state and this youth run the risk of being infected with HIV, Kumar urged all communities to create more awareness to safeguard the youths from HIV and other sexually transmitted Infections.

Moreover, the issue of intravenous drug abuse is also an area of concern through which an individual can be infected through use of shared syringes. Meghalaya has also seen a rise in drug abuse, which is a matter of concern.

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