Profile of the Patients Who Attended the HIV Integrated Counseling and Testing Centre in a Teaching Hospital of Rajasthan 195-197
Niraj K. Biswas MBBS,MD
Jhalawar Medical College, Jhalawar 326001 (Raj.), India
Context: Community awareness is the simplest way to limit the spread of the human immunodeficiency (HIV) infection in the population.
Objectives: To study the sociodemographic characteristics and the perception about the disease among the attendees of an HIV clinic.
Material and Methods: It was a cross-sectional, questionnaire based, observational study which was conducted between years 2008 and 2011 at the integrated counseling and testing centre (ICTC) of a teaching hospital in Rajasthan, India.
Results: Out of 7561 subjects who were screened, the seroprevalence of HIV was seen in 109 (1.44%) cases. More visits to the ICTC were made by males (5973) as compared to females (1588), but the positivity rate was higher among females (2.64%) than among males (1.12%). Among all the subjects, about 80% of the seropositives belonged to the age group 15-49 years, 38.5% were illiterate, and more than 30% of the positive cases were housewives. Heterosexual (92%) and vertical transmission (8%) were the only modes of transmission. Seropositivity was more prevalent among the subjects who belonged to the below poverty line (58.7%). More than half (52%) of the respondents considered the HIV infection to be preventable and three fourth (75.73%) had no objection in staying in the same house as the infected cases, whereas only 33.4% of them were comfortable in sharing food with the HIV patients. Two thirds of the attendees were aware of the role of barrier contraceptives in the prevention of the HIV infection. However, there was a lack of awareness about the government intervention programmes.
Conclusion: The screening of females in the population needs to be strengthened, possibly by universal antenatal coverage. Despite the ongoing campaigns, there is a lack of appropriate awareness in the population and hence, there is a need of interventions which focus on the dissemination of information even to the most peripheral and unreached areas.