105 people were from Rohingya background
Even though Bangladesh is a low human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence country, there has been a total of 919 positive people identified in 2019 and the virus killed 170, highest ever in a single year in Bangladesh, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Malik said this yesterday at a program organized by the health ministry at the Krishibid Institution Bangladesh (KIB) in Dhaka to mark World AIDS Day.
“A total of 7374 people were infected with HIV in Bangladesh till now, of them 1242 people died, and 105 people were from Rohingya background,” said Minister Zahid Malik.
“Respect of social, religious and family norms and values may reduce HIV infection. Though, Bangladesh is ahead of many other countries as far as identifying the disease and providing treatment is concerned,” he said
Dr Md Shamiul Islam, line director of TB-L and AIDS/STD Program of the Directorate General of Health Services presented the keynote paper.
He said: “The affected persons with this virus is higher than that of previous years. In 2018, 869 people were infected with HIV and out of that 148 died. Among the HIV positive population, 74% are male, 24 % are female, while 1% are transgenders.”
Most of the identified people are in their middle age. 74.42% or 605 infected people belong to the age group of 25-49. 10% or 82 belong to the age group of 50 and above. However 8.98% or 73 identified patients belong to the age group of 19-24. Among affected person 587 are married while 175 people are single. Rest are either divorced, separated, widowed or discordant,” he added.
Zahid Malik also said: “To eliminate HIV from the country by 2030, we are working on it trying our best. About 10 million people are working outside the country. The problem is the lack of screening facilities as we cannot identify whether someone coming from abroad is carrying the virus. HIV infection rate is higher in the Rohingya community. We are counselling them, providing them with treatment.”
Currently, HIV detection rate is 52.67%, treatment provided to 65.38% HIV infected person in Bangladesh. Estimated number of people living with HIV is 14000.
High officials and representatives from different government organizations, NGOs, UN organization spoke at the programme while Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services presided over the program.