A total of 919 people were diagnosed with AIDS in Bangladesh this year, and 170 of them have died. Of the newly identified patients, 105 are from the Rohingya population.
The statistics was disclosed on Sunday at a programme on World AIDS Day at the Krishibid Institution Bangladesh in the capital.
In his keynote speech, Md Shamiul Islam, TB-L & AIDS /STD Program Director (MBDC) and Line Director at Directorate of Health, said 7,378 people have so far been infected by the disease since 1989.
Dhaka division has the highest number of AIDS patients - 2,572, while Rangpur has only 68.
There are 2008 AIDS patients in Chittagong, 1219 in Sylhet, 660 in Khulna, 192 in Rajshahi, 86 in Mymensingh and 179 in Barisal.
Bangladesh has approximately 14,000 AIDS patients.
Speaking as the chief guest, Health Minister Zahid Malik said there are about 4 crore AIDS patients in the world and Bangladesh has just 0.1 percent of them.
"We are ahead in medical coverage. The world provides 50 percent medicines to AIDS patients when Bangladesh's coverage is 61 percent. But we are still not satisfied, the coverage needs to be increased. Awareness is needed for this."
"Among the infected, 1,342 died over the years of the disease," he added.
According to the keynote speech, this year 27,168 people were tested and 4,10,309 people were screened for AIDS across the country.
Of the newly infected AIDS patients, 19% are migrants, 37% of the general population, 24% are people who inject drugs, and 11% Rohingyas. Of them, 74 percent are male, 25 percent female and 1 percent transgender.
The prevalence of AIDS is higher among people within the 25 to 49 age group. Among the affected, 74.42 percent belong to that particular age group.
The number of AIDS patients are higher among married people in the country. Of the patients, 587 are married.
Apart from this, 175 AIDS patients are single, 17 divorced, 10 are widowed.
The health minister added that around 1 crore Bangladeshi people live abroad, and they need to be made aware about protection from the disease.
"Previously, tuberculosis patients used to be confined. AIDS patients are now facing the same fate," the minister said. "They are also our people. We need to provide them with treatment, not abandon them."
Zahid Malik said that screening programmes have been extended to tackle the disease more effectively.
He also said that the Rohingya population is a big issue. "They have more AIDS cases than we do. The infected, however, are getting proper treatment."
The minister added that the challenge is to increase AIDS detection, saying, "The estimate is that only 52 percent of the AIDS cases in the country have been detected, which is still low. We need to increase that to 100 percent."
Regarding young people getting infected by the disease, Zahid Malik said, "There is a higher proportion of AIDS cases among the young. They need to be made more aware of the disease because they make-up a large portion of our total population."
He added that there are three time more males infected with AIDS than females.
In conclusion, Zahid Malik said, "We need to work in a planned way to eradicate AIDS by 2030."