The new building that would house the ART (antiretroviral therapy) centre at the government hospital was inaugurated by T.P Poonachi, Minister for Khadi and Village Industries in the presence of chief whip R.Manoharan in the city on Saturday.

The ART centre at GH is one among 52 ART centres in the State under TANSAC (Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society). The centre that was established in December 2005 has 14 people employed today, which includes doctors, nurses, medical officers, counsellors, lab technicians, a pharmacist, a legal aid counsellor, and a consulting lawyer. The centre is headed by Dr. Rani and it sees approximately 300 patients visiting every day.

The new building was constructed at a cost of Rs. 20 lakh, according to R. Vallinayagam, hospital dean. The ART centre offers a host of services to patients, including free HIV test through recommendations from ICTCs (integrated counselling and testing centres); medical, emotional and social support to the HIV-infected; full body immunity power screening as well as required treatment for the HIV-infected; PPTCT (prevention of parent to child transmission) by treating pregnant women with HIV; multidrug treatment for those with both TB and HIV; and multidrug treatment for children with HIV.