Drugs from Myanmar main cause behind HIV rise in Mizoram: Guv Pillai

PANAJI, Dec 1: Increase in drug peddling along the Mizoram-Myanmar border has led to increased proliferation of narcotics, as well as a high rate of HIV infections in the north eastern state, Goa Governor P.S. Sreedharan Pillai said on Wednesday.

Pillai, a former Governor of Mizoram, also said that (multiple) sexual relations were not the main cause behind the spread of HIV/AIDS as much as indiscriminate use of drugs.

“I was the Governor in Mizoram, where people are good at heart and law abiding citizens, but at the same time, HIV rate is more, according to my information, at the first position in India. I had occasion to study in my own way about the HIV increasing tendency and I found that actually sex relations is not the main important root or cause behind it. Use of drugs and other things is the real villain in this peril,” Pillai said at a function in South Goa.

“You see, Mizoram is very near to the old state of Burma. There is free access between Mizoram and Myanmar. And then when I started my study, I found that (you can travel) without passport or anything 16 km either side, Indian side or the Myanmar side. People can go freely. Through that process, there is a dangerous situation existing there,” he said.

“Drug peddling is very much increasing and that is the real cause behind the increase in HIV number in Aizawl and other parts of Mizoram. So that is why I am saying, instead of treating patients or trying to ward off HIV the most important thing is awareness among the youth,” Pillai further added.

The Goa Governor also said that since there is no foolproof, successful remedy for treating HIV/AIDS, the best way to keep the infection at bay was through awareness. “Awareness is the best solution,” he also said.

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