Despite being a low prevalence state, J&K had 3098 confirmed AIDS cases by the end of March 2012. These included 1394 full blown AIDS cases of whom 226 died.
According to Performance Review 2012, a publication of the state Health and family Welfare ministry accessed by Kashmir Life, there are 808 AIDS patients including 54 children who are receiving free anti-retroviral treatment (ART) in the special centres run by State AIDS Prevention and Control Society (JKSACS).
The review informs that 21701 HIV tests were conducted between April 2011 and December 2011 of which 79 were found reactive.
The society has carried out eight rounds of sentinel surveillance. In the last round (November 2008 – January 2009) a total of 7250 random samples were collected of which four samples were HIV +. The last survey carried out in November 2010 is awaiting results!!
The society is currently running seven targeted intervention (TI) projects. These include one TI project each in Islamabad, Kathua, Rajouri and two projects each in Jammu and Srinagar, the Review reveals.
In Srinagar one project is being implemented for intra-venous drug users through NGO FPA of India. Another project for Men-Having-Sex-With-Men (MSM) is being implemented through Peoples’ Social and Cultural Society.
For south Kashmir Islamabad, the JKSACS is implementing a TI project for Female Sex Workers which is being implemented through NGO Kashmir Research Institute of Education and Solar Technology. Both the projects in Jammu are for female sex workers (implemented through Himalaya Seva Sung and Shere-i-Sports Club) so is the case with Kathua (implementer: Regional Education Society) and Rajouri (implementer: Society of Environmental Protection and Human Rights).
Despite being a low prevalence state, J&K is a potential crisis state because it has mass contacts with strangers. Experts said massive dependence on truckers for getting in imports, hosting more than 11 million tourists a year, relying massively on around half a million non local labour force and finally having stationed nearly half a million soldiers make it an ideal breeding ground for AIDS. One of the former health ministers, Choudhary Lal Singh had suggested scanning every single non local who enters the state by road, rail or by air. His suggestion was summarily rejected and the idea was laughed away.