AIDS control society plans testing centres in private hospitals

August 9th, 2008 - 5:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode, Aug 9 (IANS) The Kerala State AIDS Control Society (KSACS) will open 50 Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTCs) in private hospitals this year. This is in addition to the 72 ICTCs that will also come up this year at the government-run health centres.

The society also has plans to open an anti-retroviral therapy (ART) centre at Palakkad.

At present, Kerala has five ART centres functioning at government medical colleges and 101 ICTCs.

The ICTCs provide free HIV testing facilities and counselling for the HIV infected.

“We will provide free test kits for the ICTCs coming up at private hospitals and will provide necessary training to their technicians and counsellors,” O. Sasikumari, the deputy director of KSACS, told IANS.

With the opening of ICTCs, the private hospitals will be able to provide reliable HIV testing facilities to people.

“At present many of these hospitals are providing only card test facilities for HIV. This test is not reliable as it may give false results. The ICTCs always follow standard three-test procedure which is a reliable method,” she added.

The KSACS decided to open ICTCs at private hospital as 60 percent of the patients in the state approach to private hospitals for health care.

According to the society there are around 25,000 HIV infected people in the state.

“At present around 7,800 HIV infected persons have registered at various ART centres. Out of this around 4,000 are under treatment,” Rita Cross, joint director of KSACS said.

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