‘3 out of 1000 pregnant women HIV positive in M’laya’

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Meghalaya Govt asked to frame rehab package for sex workers

HT Bureau

SHILLONG, April 8: Three out of every 1000 pregnant women are HIV positive in Meghalaya.

This shocking information is revealed by the chairperson of Assembly’s Committee on Women Empowerment, Ampareen Lyngdoh.

According to her, there are 5,000 plus cases of HIV/AIDS in Meghalaya which indicated that “it is increasing very alarmingly”.

According to Meghalaya AIDS Control Society (MACS) there are more than 200 sex workers who are HIV positive.

“Now if there are 200 sex workers in the city having HIV, now we have to alert everybody that this is a time that we should be very careful,” said Mawsynram legislator Himalaya Shangpliang, who is also a member of the committee.

“We would not like to stigmatise anyone like that but if there are such people who are carrying HIV in them, I would request them to volunteer and go and meet the MACS who are ready to help as all medications for HIV patients are provided free of cost from the government,” the MLA said.

The Committee has asked the state government to come up with a scheme to rehabilitate sex workers and to address the issue of HIV/AIDS which is increasing at an alarming rate in the state.

“The government will now design a policy specific to address the issue of HIV/AIDS in the background of commercial sex workers in the state of Meghalaya,” Lyngdoh, who is also East Shillong MLA, said.

She said that the committee has asked for a study to be conducted on the reasons for such a situation being faced by pregnant women.

Asserting the need to rehabilitate these sex workers, Shangpliang said that the committee has discussed at length with the principal secretary in-charge Social Welfare on what are the modalities that the government is coming up to help these sex workers to come to mainstream.

“The committee has suggested the department to frame a state scheme which would provide a package for sex workers so that they can leave this job and reform themselves into a human being of the state with responsibilities,” he said.



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