HIV in "Key Populations" Shocks in Bangladesh –


Female sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), and injecting drug users are identified as the key populations because they have the highest risk of contracting and transmitting HIV.

The prof. Md Shamiul Islam, Director of the AIDS Program Line in Bangladesh, said the prevalence rose to 3.9 percent in 2016 from 0.7 in 2011.

It was only 0.3 per cent, even in 2002, a drop of 0.4 per cent in 1998-99 when the first study was done.

"The increase is due to injecting drug users," he said while interacting with journalists from the Bangladesh Health Reporters Forum on Sunday in his office.

The government administers programs through NGOs to prevent injecting drug users from sharing needles through which the virus enters the blood.

But this increase means the program did not go well.

"I would say it is a failure of the program that was directed at injecting drug users," he said.

He added that they have introduced a new approach called Opioid Substitution Therapy or OST to deal with drug users who share syringes.

OST is an "advanced harm reduction option" for drug users.

The government, through its supervised clinical settings, provides illicit drug users with a substitute drug, a medicine prescribed as methadone, which is usually given orally.

"Oral administration means there is no risk of HIV infection and we can also gradually take them out of the use of drugs. We have 1,700 drug users so far under this OST program, "said the line director.

"The government is working to reach the global target for 2030, which means 90% of people living with HIV, 90% of them will be treated and 90% of them will be at a stage where they can not transmit the disease. virus."

Overall this is called 90-90-90, he said.

The number of people living with HIV confirmed by the government through laboratory tests is 5,586 since the first case was discovered between 1989 and 2017.

Of these, 924 died of AIDS.

But the estimated number of people living with HIV is about 13,000 from 2017, which means that a large number of people do not know their status.

This year's World AIDS Day, on December 1, focuses on "knowing your status," which emphasizes the need for voluntary viral disease testing.

Of the total of 865 new HIV cases last year, 31% were among migrant workers repatriated.


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