Wednesday July 17, 2019

Alarming statistics on rising HIV cases due to lack of Drugs, leave Home Ministry of India tensed

India accounts for 2.1 million Indians infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and forms the reason of concern for the health ministry

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AIDS awareness ribbon. Flickr
  • ART are the drugs which are given to the infected of HIV positive and help in reducing the growth of this virus
  • In India, the drug cocktail is given to patients with a count of less than 350 CD4 cells per mm3 of blood
  • The Health Ministry said 940,000 (70 per cent) of 1.3 million HIV-infected patients with a CD4 count less than 350 are on anti-retroviral therapy (ART)

Sept 14, 2016: The statistics on the rising cases of HIV positive people in India are utterly alarming. India accounts for 2.1 million people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) should be getting a cocktail of drugs to prolong their lives and reduce infections, but no more than 44 percent do, the Minister of Health told the Lok Sabha in April 2016.

According to IANS report, in India, the drug cocktail is given to patients with a count of less than 350 CD4 cells per mm3 of blood- CD4 cells are white blood cells, a count of which indicates the health of a person’s immune system.

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The Health Ministry said 940,000 (70 per cent) of 1.3 million HIV-infected patients with a CD4 count less than 350 are on anti-retroviral therapy (ART). The situation is worse among children, with no more than 36 per cent getting ART, mentioned IANS report.

ART are the drugs which are given to the infected of HIV positive and help in reducing the growth of this virus. According to WHO, this drug has to be given to each patient irrespective of their WBC count and stage of the disease.

Infants and young children living with HIV have an exceptionally high risk of poor outcomes, with up to 52 per cent of children born and living with HIV dying before the age of two years in the absence of any intervention,” said the WHO. “By five years of age, the risk of mortality and disease progression in the absence of treatment falls to rates similar to those of young adult.” Children are the worst of recipients of this disease it passes to them from their mother’s womb, reported IANS.

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 Chandigarh has 146 percent of HIV-AIDS patients on ART- many of whom likely to be from the adjoining Haryana, the state with the lowest ratio of HIV population to ART centres, thus explaining the 146 percent figure- followed by Meghalaya with 82 per cent and Mizoram with 73 percent, according to 2016 government data.At the bottom is Tripura with 2 percent, preceded by Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh with 14 per cent.

More than 37 million live with AIDS — the syndrome due to HIV virus — across the world, a 10 percent increase from 2010. Globally, access to ART has increased 126 per cent over five years to 2015: 17 million more people are on ART compared to 2010.

– prepared by Ayushi Gaur of Newsgram

  • Anubhuti Gupta

    146% is a way too high percentage for a place like chandigarh..There should be more awareness for this. The article was indeed an eye opener

  • Enakshi

    These informations were really hard hitting.
    Everyone should know about it

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Developers Can Now Start Building Hindi Skills for Alexa in India

Right now, Alexa can understand some Hinglish commands but these are few and far between

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Alexa, Amazon, Virtual Assistant
Amazon Echo led the Indian smart speakers market with 59 per cent share in 2018 (Representational image). Pixabay

Amazon on Tuesday announced that developers can now start building Alexa skills for customers in India with the new Hindi voice model available in Alexa Skills Kit (ASK).

Developers would get a headstart and submit skills for certification as the company prepare to offer engaging experiences for Alexa users in one of the most spoken languages in the country, the company said in a statement.

Commercial hardware manufacturers who want to develop Alexa Built-in products for Hindi-speaking customers in India can request early access to the invite-only Alexa Voice Service (AVS) developer preview.

The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is a collection of free, self-service APIs and tools that make it fast and easy for developers to create skills, or capabilities, for Alexa.

Amazon last year launched a new category of skill called “Cleo” that enables customers in India help Alexa learn Hindi and other languages. The idea was to improve Alexa’s language model and help her gradually speak in local languages.

Lawsuit, Amazon, Alexa
The lawsuit alleges Amazon of saving ‘voice prints’ of millions of children by unlawfully recording their conversations around Alexa-enabled smart devices. Pixabay

Apart from Hindi, users can respond to Alexa’s English statements in Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati and other regional languages.

Alexa is currently available in over 80 countries and speaks more than 14 language variants.

One can sign up for the first webinar on Hindi skill building scheduled on July 24. Developers in India who have their Hindi-language skill certified for publication in India before July 31 would receive exclusive early bird Alexa merchandise.

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Rohit Prasad, Vice President and Head Scientist for Alexa, told IANS recently that the company is working on infusing regional languages capabilities in Alexa for the Indian market but these are early days.

Right now, Alexa can understand some Hinglish commands but these are few and far between. (IANS)