Five people have succumbed to AIDS in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh and more than 50 people have been tested positive for HIV.
Of the 53 infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Sagar, 180 km from here, 19 have reached the status of full blown AIDS, including one woman, 16 men and two eunuchs, health officials said.
"While five HIV positive cases were detected in the district in March, 10 HIV cases came to light in April and May," said an official of the Madhya Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (MPSACS).
He said the number of HIV infected people could be much higher as many do not come for checkups at the various health camps held from time to time.
The first AIDS camp was held in the district in 2002. In 2003, 12 HIV cases were detected. In the last two and a half years, 41 new cases were found.
The disturbing fact was that many of the HIV victims were young people aged 21 to 30 years, many of them unmarried.
"People between 21 and 30 years have registered a sharp rise in AIDS cases. Many men in their early 20s are becoming most susceptible," said the MPSACS official.
"Of the total 1,701 AIDS patients in Madhya Pradesh, 38 percent belong to the 21-30 age group. This is just one percent less than those from the 31-40 age group," he said.
Around three quarters were infected after practising unsafe sex. He said 72 percent of the total AIDS patients in the state were men.
In 2004, the number of HIV positive cases stood at 205. The figure rose to 359 the next year. The first AIDS case in the state was recorded in 1988.
The state AIDS control society is making every effort to tackle the disease, but a lot needs to be done, said Shraddha Bose, deputy director of MPSACS.