Mizoram reported on Monday that at least 17,897 people are infected with HIV/AIDS, the highest in the country, with nine persons testing positive everyday. Over 42 per cent of those in the age group of 25-34 have tested positive for HIV in the state, one of the least populated in the country, said officials of the Mizoram State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) that released the data on the occasion of the World AIDS Day.
Several awareness programmes were organised here and across the state to mark the Day, which was on December 1, a Sunday. Officials said 2,557 fresh HIV cases were detected in 2018-19, which was "extremely high" as the state has a merely ten lakh population.
Among the total number of HIV patients, 6,069 are female, they said.
While HIV infections were earlier higher among drug addicts and sex workers, currently cases of AIDS are also being reported from higher strata of the society, an official said.
Officials sought cooperation of political leaders, civil society members and the churches to fight the menace in the Christian-dominated state.