Khulna region at risk of AIDS...

Khulna region at risk of AIDS

 Khulna Correspondent

 Published: 09:22 PM, 1 June 2022  

File Photo

File Photo

Being a border area, the Khulna division is at risk of AIDS – which is gradually increasing. Although the prevalence of AIDS in Southeast Asia is relatively low in Bangladesh, people in the 4 districts of the Khulna division are at risk of this deadly disease.

In the last 7 months, 42 new cases of AIDS were detected after testing 510 people for HIV/AIDS from the ART (Anti Retroviral Therapy) Center at Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH). Among these, 23 were males – 3 of them died. On average, 6 people are diagnosed with AIDS every month. Most of the patients are the residents of Khulna, Satkhira, Jashore and Narail. For this, these 4 districts are currently at risk of AIDS.

In 2021, 28 people were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS from the ART center. Of these, 18 are residents of Khulna. During this period, 7 people died of AIDS – 4 of them are residents of Khulna.

Khulna Civil Surgeon Dr. Sujat Ahmed said “only awareness” can control this disease. Besides, the screening test must be increased. Considering the situation of neighboring countries, AIDS can increase in Bangladesh at any time.

There are a lot of AIDS patients in India and Myanmar. For this, first of all, it is necessary to increase the screening test by raising awareness. Besides, people traveling across the border and abroad must be tested for HIV/AIDS. In particular, “prioritize” the Rohingya population, migrants, people who have been pushed back, and areas that are most affected, he also said.

The civil surgeon added that “most people do not know they have AIDS”. Even if they know, they keep it secret for various reasons. “AIDS can spread in two ways — through physical intercourse and blood. None of the women, infected with AIDS, in the country have been “directly affected” so far, they were infected through physical intercourse, said Dr. Sujat Ahmed. 

Divesh Ojha, a councilor at the ART center at KMCH Hospital, said 510 people had been tested for HIV at the ART center in the last six months. Of them, 42 were detected as AIDS-positive. Among them 23 were males and 19 were females. During this, 3 people died of AIDS. Among them are a man from Khulna and two women from Narail. 

“Residents of Khulna, Satkhira, Jashore and Narail have been detected with HIV more,” he informed. 

“Most of the patients are abroad returnees and travel abroad. When expatriates get AIDS, they don’t even know it. Most of the expatriates come from abroad and get married or have children. From there, it goes to the bodies of mothers and children. In the second stage, homosexuals are also diagnosed with AIDS,” Divesh Ojha further said. 

Noted that in the last one year from October 2020 to October 2021, 28 people were found to be HIV positive in the AIDS test from the ART center in KMCH hospital. Of these, 16 are residents of Khulna. Besides, 6 in Jashore and 4 in Bagerhat. Among the patients who tested positive were 18 males, 9 females and 2 children.