Staff Reporter

Network has already identified 38 children from Coimbatore

  • Children living with HIV/AIDS require proper nutritional support and treatment facilities
  • Intensified media campaigns increased the awareness about the disease

    COIMBATORE: The Coimbatore Network for Positive People (CNP+) will launch a special programme for children living with HIV/AIDS in the district. In association with the Clinton's HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI), the project is aimed at providing psychosocial support to HIV positive children and their parents, said M.Somesh, President of CNP +.

    Nutritional support

    "Children living with HIV/AIDS require proper nutritional support and treatment facilities. We will make treatment and nutrition accessible to them and extend support to the parents. After ascertaining their CD 4 (cells required for immunity) count, the children will be referred to the nearest Government Hospital. Their travel costs will also be taken care of," he said. The network had already identified 38 children from Coimbatore for the project, which will be launched on April 1.

    "With awareness increasing on the Prevention of Parent To Child Transmission (PPTCT), the number of children born with HIV/AIDS has come down," Mr.Somesh noted. At least four HIV positive couples that were members of the network gave birth to normal children.

    Intensified media campaigns had also increased the awareness about the disease. "HIV will be less of a threat in the country in future," Mr. Somesh observed. Till last year, it was difficult to administer the Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) to children, as the drug was not available in paediatric dosages. The tablets had to be broken into two halves, which children found difficult to consume.

    Relief to parents

    But, the paediatric ART syrup launched by the National AIDS Control Organisation and Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society in November last year had brought relief to parents of HIV positive children.

    The Network also reached out to the remote areas in the district in order to prompt HIV positive parents to get their children tested for the CD 4 count. The volunteers of the network were also stationed at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital. They identified HIV positive women and introduced them to PPTCT.