‘It’s often too late…,’ How drug abuse among students from wealthy families led to HIV outbreak in Tripura

Forty-seven students have died from HIV in Tripura, 828 have tested positive. The outbreak is driven by injectable drug use among students from 220 schools and 24 colleges. Affluent families are affected, with some children migrating for higher studies.

Written By Sanchari Ghosh
First Published10 Jul 2024, 11:59 AM IST
Forty-seven students have died from HIV in Tripura, 828 have tested positive
Forty-seven students have died from HIV in Tripura, 828 have tested positive

Forty-seven students have died from HIV in Tripura, and 828 have tested HIV-positive, a Tripura State AIDS Control Society (TSACS) official reported earlier this week.

“We have so far registered 828 students who are HIV positive. Out of them, 572 students are still alive, and we have lost 47 people due to the dreaded infection. Many of the students have migrated out of Tripura for higher studies in coveted institutions across the country,” a senior official of the TSACS said.

The joint director of TSACS presented a statistical analysis of the overall scenario of HIV in Tripura during a media workshop organised by the Tripura Journalist Union, Web Media Forum, and TSACS.

Also Read | World AIDS Day 2023: 12 common myths about HIV and AIDS busted

The Tripura State AIDS Control Society has identified students from as many as 220 schools and 24 colleges and universities who take injectable drugs.

The TSACS collected data from 164 health facilities across the state, which provided critical insights into the geographic and demographic spread of the outbreak. “Reports are collected from almost all the blocks and subdivisions before making this presentation,” the official mentioned.

How the disease spread?

The HIV outbreak in the state is driven largely by injectable drug use.

The official said, “In most of the cases, the children belong to affluent families who are detected positive for HIV. There are families where both parents are in government service and don’t hesitate to fulfil their children's demands. By the time they realise that their children have fallen prey to drugs, it is too late.”

Also Read | When Yusuf Hamied defied Big Pharma in the battle against HIV/AIDS

What did the government say?

Meanwhile, the Tripura government clarified that the figures mentioned are over a period of 25 years.

The government said out of 828 patients, 572 students are still alive, and 47 people died due to the dreaded infection. It added that many students have migrated out of Tripura for higher studies in coveted institutions across the country.

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First Published:10 Jul 2024, 11:59 AM IST
HomeNewsIndia‘It’s often too late…,’ How drug abuse among students from wealthy families led to HIV outbreak in Tripura

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