At least 443 people died in Mizoram due to complications caused by AIDS during the financial year 2019-2020, as per official data. According to statistical handbook Mizoram 2020, released on Monday, 2,339 people were diagnosed with AIDS during 2019-2020.
In 2018-19, 2,237 people were found to be HIV-positive and 716 died due to the disease. The handbook released by the State Economics and Statistics Department said that 51,691 blood samples were tested during 2019-2020 as against 65,615 samples in 2018-2019.
With 2.32 per cent of its total 10.91 lakh population (2011 census) infected, Mizoram has the dubious distinction of being the highest AIDS prevalent state in the country, as per the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO). Mizoram reported its first HIV-positive case in October 1990.
According to the Mizoram State AIDS Control Society (MSACS), 23,092 people, including 1,972 pregnant women, were diagnosed with AIDS and 2,877 people died of the disease from October 1990 till September 2020. More than 78 per cent of HIV-positive cases in the state were sexually transmitted, while about 20 per cent of the cases were transmitted through sharing needles by intravenous drug users, it said.
It has been estimated that about 1.19 per 1,000 people are diagnosed with AIDS in Mizoram, according to MSACS. The AIDS incident rate was highest among youths in the age group of 25-34, which was tagged at 42.59 per cent, followed by people in the age group of 35-49 at 26.49 per cent, it said.