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HIV prevalence on decline in JK; men constitute 70% of infected population

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Sep 18: Nearly 70 per cent of the HIV-infected persons in Jammu and Kashmir are men, a report by Union Ministry of Health said.

A report titled ‘HIV Estimation 2017’ which is jointly prepared by National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and ICMR- National Institute of Medical Statistics claims that Jammu and Kashmir has the lowest HIV prevalence in India, with trend on a decline mode for the last seven years.
It, however, said that men contributed a huge proportion to the persons infected with the HIV.

As per the report, currently as many as 2,954 persons are detected with HIV infection in the state out of which 909 are females.

 

It said that 0.3 per cent of the adult population of age between15-49 years in J&K were infected with HIV.

Out of the said percentage, 213 are newly added persons during 2017.

The report said that men contribute to the 84 per cent of the death toll due to the HIV. During 2017, 32 persons have died in the state due to the HIV.
It said that the HIV in the state has witnessed a decline of nine per cent in the last seven years.

India had an estimated 21.40 lakh people living with HIV in 2017, with slightly more than two-fifth of them being women.

Doctors’ claim that despite more vulnerability to females, males have formed a good proportion of HIV infected persons in the state.“The overall prevalence of this diseases in the state is much low compared to the rest of the states. We have even children who have got this diseases transmitted from their mothers,” said Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather, Project Director J&K State AIDS Control Society.

Regarding the lowering trend of AIDS, Rather said that they have started community based testing exercise to aware and restrict the spreading of this diseases in the state.

“We conduct screening of the outside state based labourers , truck drivers. Besides constant awareness about the prevention of this diseases is being disseminated through media and seminars in schools and industries,” he said.

Rather said this year the organisation has started testing the people in jails of the state.


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Kashmir

Crackdown launched on illegal selling of tobacco products in Srinagar

Crackdown launched on illegal selling of tobacco products in Srinagar

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Srinagar, Jun 25: The Srinagar administration Tuesday launched a city-wide crackdown on illegal sale of cigarettes among other tobacco products holding simultaneous inspections of markets in various areas.

The inspections were held in the wake of growing concerns about increasing prevalence of substance abuse in Srinagar and to verify adherence to the Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products Act or COTPA 2003 which prohibits advertisement of and provides for regulation of trade and commerce in production and distribution of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Large number of stores and vendors situated at different places were found selling cigarettes without the mandatory pictorial warnings on packets thereof. Huge cache of such cigarettes was also seized from various markets during the inspections.

 

Some 50 stores and vendors including those found selling cigarettes among other tobacco products close to schools among other educational institutions in violations of COTPA and violating other provisions thereof were booked with several of them sealed during the inspections.

It is notable that the data suggests that the annual amount spent on tobacco consumption in Srinagar is a staggering Rs 131 crore which is the highest in the State. This among other forms of substance abuse involving both genders is growing into a serious cause of concern in the district.

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary who has issued strict instructions to concerned officers to crackdown on violators and offenders said violations of COTPA account for serious offences and will be dealt with in the context of public safety.

Dr Shahid assured of sustained efforts to check substance abuse in Srinagar but also urged the general public and parents in particular to do their bit emphasizing their important role therein and to assist the administration in its efforts to curb prevalence thereof.

Last month a district level coordination committee comprising 15 members from different departments and organisations was constituted in the district for the implementation of COTPA.

Different members of the committee have been assigned different roles and responsibilities for ensuring effective and functional application of tobacco control in the district.

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Amit Shah should start process of dialogue with all stakeholders: Sagar

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Srinagar, Jun 25: Ahead of the visit of union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference has hoped that the central government will begin dialogue on Kashmir to restore peace in the state.

National Conference General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said that Kashmir valley is going through bloodshed, tension and arrests of youth on daily basis which further deteriorate the situation.

“Home ministers visit Kashmir, but this time we hope the visiting home minister will start process of dialogue with all stakeholders here which will help improve the situation,” he said.

 

He said that the daily pensive situation, ongoing bloodshed, and arrests of youth will stop only through initiatives of peace through dialogue.

“We hope the visit of home minister should make difference in Kashmir situation. If the home minister starts any dialogue process to which will improve situation here, we welcome it,” he said.

Expressing the displeasure with the Reservation Bill brought up the home minister, Sage said that NC is against the procedure which was adopted by the central government.

“The procedure adopted by the centre government to bring the bill violation of article 370. We are not against reservation for any particular section of people. We are against the procedure adopted by the government,” he said.

He said that Member Parliament of National Conference Dr Farooq Abdullah will take a stand over the bill in the ongoing session of Parliament.

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Amit Shah should inaugurate a new era of engagement in Kashmir: Faesal

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Srinagar, Jun 25: President J&K Peoples Movement Shah Faesal has said that on his maiden visit to Kashmir as Home Minister, Amit Shah should inaugurate a new age of engagement and reach out to people of the State.

In a statement issued, Shah Faesal said that Central Government led by PM Narendra Modi has an extraordinary opportunity to take bold decisions on Kashmir and bring peace to Valley while taking all stakeholders on board.

He argued for initiation of dialogue process, resumption of Cross LoC trade, freeing of political prisoners who are in jails for minor offenses, among other political initiatives needed at this hour.

 

Shah Faesal also called for immediate implementation of Universal Basic Income scheme for BPL households of the State, age relaxation of UPSC/JEE IIT aspirants from J&K State, improvement of inter-provincial road connectivity and four-laning if Srinagar-Salamabad, Srinagar-Teetwal roads.

JKPM President expressed hope that the Home Minister would facilitate creation of an environment of peace in which developmental activity and will pick up and Tourism potential of the State will be harnessed.

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