At least 869 new HIV positive patients were diagnosed in Bangladesh in 2018, according to statistics, the government released Saturday.
The newly diagnosed patients raised the number the country’s HIV infected patients to 6,455.
But, health ministry officials believe that the number of HIV infected patients in the country would be about 13,000, as many of them were outside the records of the government.
In 2018, at least 148 HIV infected patients died in Bangladesh, raising the national HIV toll to 1,072 since 1989. The health ministry released the statistics at a discussion to
mark the World Aids Day celebrations in the capital on Saturday.
The day is celebrated raise public awareness against the deadly disease.
During the celebration, health service director for AIDS Shamiul Islam said now Bangladesh has 13,000 identified HIV positive patients. He also said that not all the infected patients could be identified.
He said that the incidence of HIV infection was increasing in Bangladesh.
In 2017, 865 HIV patients were identified, 578 in 2016, 469 in 2015, 44 in 2014 and 370 in 2013, shows the government’s statistics.
Among the newly diagnosed HIV positive patients, 484 are males, 189 females and eight are transgender people. And 77.39 per cent of the HIV patients are in the 25 to 49 age bracket.
HIV prevalence remains less than 0.01 per cent in Bangladesh but the people who use injectable drugs are most vulnerable to the deadly infection with a 3.9 per cent prevalence reate.
Besides, the migrant people have high prevalence of HIV. At least 168 patients of the new HIV patients in 2018 were migrant workers.
At least 188 Rohingyas who fled into Bangladesh to escape persecution in Myanmar persecution were diagnosed HIV positive.
In 2018, at least 148 HIV patients died in Bangladesh.
Speaking as chief guest at the function, health minister Mohammad Nasim hoped that Bangladesh could eliminate AIDS by 2030.
He said the people who use injectable drugs are most vulnerable to HIV infection and he said that initiative has been take to engage the ministry of home affairs and social welfare to detain these people and to bring them under the coverage treatment.
UNICEF country representative Edouard Beigbeder said the global trend show the HIV patients were decreasing but the trend is Bangladesh is reverse - patients were increasing.
People Living With HIV Network Bangladesh president Hafizuddin Munna said the HIV patients were victims of discrimination.
He demanded health insurance for HIV patients.
Before the discussion, the health ministry and NGOs working on HIV hold a procession at Manik Miah Avenue to raise awareness among people for screening HIV.
KNOW YOUR STATUS, was this year’s the theme of World AIDS Day celebrations.
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