The number was 5,904 a year ago. Non-government organisations working in the sector believe that there are around 6,000 more people living with HIV/AIDS but not been officially recorded due to various reasons. “Many infected are yet to come to official records due to lack of awareness and social stigma”, says Daya Krishna Pant of the Directorate.
The reason behind the increasing population of HIV infected in the region is attributed to many youth going abroad including India for work, and coming back infected. As a result, many women married to people going abroad for work as well as their new born are found carrying the HIV virus.
Kailali, Kanchanpur, Accham and Doti districts in the Far-West are regarded as high risk zone in terms of HIV infection. As per the records at the Directorate, the highest number of HIV infected people is in Kailali with 2,948 followed by Achham with 1,391 and Doti with 990. There are 420, 156 and 149 people living with HIV/AIDS in Kanchanpur, Baitedi and Dadeldhura respectively.
Of those infected, around 3,000 are taking Antiretro Viral treatment, according to the Secretariat.