At least 193 people have been tested HIV positive in the country's eight southern districts, says a report released by a local voluntary organisation.
Among the affected people, 84 (53 men and 31 women) have been tested HIV positive in Khulna district alone while 109 in Jhenidah, Gopalganj, Jashore, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Narail, and Magura districts, according to Mukto Akash Bangladesh (MAB), the voluntary organisation that works on AIDS-related issues.
Contacted, Civil Surgeon of Khulna Dr Abdur Razzak told UNB that they cross-checked the findings released by MAB and found those correct.
According to the report, expatriates returning from abroad, including India, Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and the USA are responsible for spreading the lethal virus in the districts.
No HIV virus, the report says, was detected among sex workers of the district while a hijra (transgender) was found to be carrying HIV.
The number of deaths caused by HIV is rapidly growing in the southern districts, the report mentions.
It says the worst affected areas among the districts are Benapole, Chaugachha, and Khulna town as the workers of those areas frequently visit various countries, mostly India, for their works and carry back the lethal virus.
In the eight districts, the MAB report reveals, at least 59 people died of AIDS in 14 years spanning between 2013 -2017 while the number of deaths was 12 in 2015 and 2016 together, while 12 in 2017 alone.
Sources at Khulna Medical College and Hospital said at least 31 HIV patients underwent treatment at the hospital this year and three of them died.
MAB coordinator Rehena Begum said their organisation is working on raising awareness among people about the deadly disease and providing nutritional and medical support to the HIV patients.