ART CENTRE NEWS
The HIV epidemic is about 29 year old. The initial years of response to infection were focused mainly on preventive activities. As the knowledge about the disease increased, the focus has now shifted towards the antiretroviral drugs and treatment strategies. Though antiretroviral therapy (ART) does not cure HIV/ AIDS but it inhibits the multiplication of virus and reduces viral load. This leads to slowing of the progression of disease, and help people lead more productive lives.
The free ART initiative in India was launched on 1st April 2004 and in the process 250 ART Centers have been established by NACO all over the country. The national program offers ART to the following groups of patients:
- All persons with HIV infection who are clinically eligible to receive ART.
- Those who are already on ART and want to get enrolled with the national program for the available ART regimens, after written consent.
- Prevention of parent to child transmission.
- Prevention of post exposure prophylaxis.
- Management of opportunistic infections.
There are already two ART centers in the state i.e. at IGMC Shimla and RH Hamirpur. DRPG Medical College Tanda will soon be the 3rd center to be started in the state. In ART center there is provision for a full time Medical officer, staff nurse, a counselor, care co-ordinator and a data manager. Nodal officer is usually the HOD of Medicine department. Principal of the medical college is the chairperson of the Center. The activities of the center are supervised by the NACO through Program Officer State AIDS control society.