Chandigarh, October 5
The Chandigarh AIDS Control Society (SACS) will soon start a link anti-retroviral therapy (ART) centre at Burail Jail, allowing HIV positive prisoners to get medicines without leaving the premises.
Dr VK Nagpal, Project Director, Chandigarh AIDS Control Society, says the new facility has been in the works for a long time and is in its final stage.
Positive patients are currently being taken out of the jail to procure medicines. Strict protocol has to be followed, especially for prisoners who are not even eligible to get parole.
Once the link ART centre becomes operation inside the jail, medicines will be provided within the premises.
The SACS is also setting up a Sampoorna Suraksha Kendra, a single-window facility, at the Civil Hospital, Sector 22, where ‘at risk’ population can avail themselves of a comprehensive package.
The centre will provide services through a single-window model to those “at risk” for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The patients will be provided counselling through an outreach worker and counsellor for medicines, mental health or surgery. The medicines will also be available at the centre.
In August, the Chandigarh Health Department had to rely on other states to get stocks of AIDS drugs to cope up with the demand.
The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has introduced Sampoorna Suraksha Strategy (SSS), which envisions stopping the spread of HIV by providing targeted services to individuals deemed “at risk” for HIV.
The key component of the SSS is to provide a comprehensive package of services to beneficiaries, who are at risk of HIV, STI and other opportunistic infections, including periodic testing and counselling support, linkage with other programmes, outreach, etc.
Adult HIV prevalence in Chandigarh has decreased from 0.5% in 2003 to 0.25 % in 2006 and has remained at 0.25% to date.
Single-window facility at Sec 22
- A single-window Sampoorna Suraksha Kendra will be set up by the Chandigarh AIDS Control Society at Civil Hospital, Sector 22
- ‘At risk’ population can get counselling for medicines, mental health or surgery. Medicines will also be provided at the centre
20 inmates +ve
- 20 HIV positive Burail Jail inmates are currently undergoing treatment
- The patients are currently being taken out of the jail to procure medicines
- Strict protocol has to be followed, especially for those not eligible for parole
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