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District-level profile making for HIV-hit

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Affirmative action: Stakeholders hold discussions during drafting of action plan in Guntur on Monday.
Affirmative action: Stakeholders hold discussions during drafting of action plan in Guntur on Monday.

Special Correspondent

Drop in rate of positives comes from ante-natal cases from 3.6 to 1.5

There is a lack of awareness material for MSM and tribals

Targeted intervention through Information Education

GUNTUR: The country’s first district-level epidemiological profile preparation for HIV-positive people, preventive initiatives and preparation of 2009-10 action plan began on a pilot basis in Guntur on Monday.

A major cause of concern at the meeting was sharp rise in HIV-positive cases among `Male having Sex with Male’ (MSM) with 18 per cent of the `Positives’ coming from among them compared to single digit earlier.

Sponsored by NACO, the State-level body APSACS with its paraphernalia led by its Additional Project Director B. Kalidas invited all stakeholders and began a three-day consultation with stakeholders, health department officials and non-governmental agencies to prepare a plan close to real need.

The drop in incidence rate of HIV positives among Ante Natal Cases from 3.6 per 1,000 to 1.5 during 2008 in Guntur was being seen as lack of data from 40 per cent deliveries taking place in private hospitals/clinics.

Some of the stakeholders and APSACS officials got themselves divided into four groups and one of them talked about testing, basic services which raised demand for two additional pre-ART centres at Macherla and Repalle as registered HIV people had gone up to 19,960 in Guntur district. Only one Medical Office mans ART Centre at GGH with 250 patients coming daily.

Difficult task

There was a lack of awareness material for MSM and tribals. The large number of such cases were reported from NIzampatnam region newly during tests, but the difficult task before them was reaching out to this group as they were not identifiable and would not admit to such risky behaviour, Dr.Kalidas said.

Targeted intervention was also being considered for pre-empting the incidence through Information Education and Communication. The district had 6,073 registered commercial sex workers, but an equal number of them were unidentified and did not get the mandatory test for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV test every six months.

A Tenali-based community-based organisation was doing a yeoman service for all brothel-based, street-based and house-based CSWs by providing them all care and support, said one of the stakeholders.

New community care centres were being proposed at Piduguralla and Durgi in addition to Guntur, Sattenapalli and Vinukonda now available for Positive people and link ART Centres have been proposed at Repalle and Piduguralla so that they do not travel too long once a month for medicines.


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