Panaji: Goa is considering bringing HIV patients under BPL cover, Health Minister Laxmikant Parsenkar said Friday. An official said one percent of the state’s population is infected with the HIV virus, especially in coastal areas.
“Bringing the HIV-positive patients under the BPL (below poverty line) cover could be a good step because it could help them get all the facilities easily. We could discuss this with the CM (chief minister) and my colleagues,” Parsenkar said in the state assembly complex.
“Around 14,000 HIV-infected people are still there (in Goa),” the health minister said adding that the government wanted to bring down the rate of infection to zero over the next five years.
Principal Secretary (Health) Parimal Rai said nearly one percent of the Goa’s over 15 lakh population was infected and the coastal areas were more vulnerable to the disease.
Those covered under the BPL have relatively easy and cheap or free access to basic essentials, which include food, health facilities, and transport.
Since 2009, the HIV cases have been on a downswing with 523 new HIV cases detected last year, said Parsenkar.