HIV among Mumbai cops increases

Sunday, June 29, 2008 (Mumbai)
The number of police personnel who have tested positive for HIV-AIDS from January this year has increased by 4.4 per cent.

According to the statistics prepared by the Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centre (VCTC) of the police hospital, from January this year till date, the number of police personnel have tested positive for HIV has gone up by 4.4 percent.

In 2007, the percentage for the whole year was only 5.6 per cent, states the VCTC centre statistics.

From January this year, the VCTC had tested 521 police personnel for HIV, out of which 23 were tested positive after having undergone the specified tests.

Commissioner of Police Hassan Gafoor observed that this was an alarming statistics.

”I have not received any statistics yet but steps need to be taken to ensure that the percentage is brought down,” Gafoor said.

He said that counselling and awareness sessions will be held for the entire police force in order to curb the incurable disease.

Although the percentage showed a considerable decrease till last year, this year it has increased again.

In 2004, 12.3 per cent police personnel had tested positive for HIV. According to the VCTC statistics, the percentage was coming down every year but has increased this year.

Maharashtra Districts AIDS Control Society (MDACS) are ready to help out the police department with the issue. ”If the police department approaches the MDACS seeking help, we will definitely start conducting sessions for them,” MDACS Project Director, S S Kudalkar said.

He said that MDACS has been conducting awareness sessions for the BMC and will also conduct such sessions for the police force if they are asked to.

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