To mark World AIDS Day on Thursday, the State government will kick off a fortnight-long community-based screening drive at various locations across Hyderabad. The Telangana State AIDS Control Society (TSACS) will hold camps from December 1 to 15 where citizens will be screened and their blood samples tested for the presence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
TSACS has decided to implement the screening programme at key metro stations (Ameerpet, MG Bus Station and Hitech City), bus stops and a few labour addas where the density of migrant labourers is higher.
Apart from this, crowded bus stops like Rathifile and Afzalgunj will be the location where a canopy stall will be set up for the screening. The labour addas, which have been identified are the ones where the migrant population is higher, such as Tolichowki, Babanagar, Gandimaisamma, Chilkanagar, Hayathnagar, Begumpet and Chandrayangutta.
As part of the screening, the staff present there will test people using the HIV testing kit in which the result can be observed within 15-20 minutes. If the test turns out positive, the person will be sent to a nearby Integrated Counselling and Testing Center (ICTC) for confirmation. Each screening centre will have about 3-4 personnel, including staff nurses and counsellors, to assist in the blood sample collection process.
TSACS has roped in people from various NGOs to participate in the screening programme.
This campaign is being organised at crowded locations so that maximum awareness is created about getting tested for HIV-AIDS. “Earlier, the testing was limited only to laboratories, but today, we have kits that show results within minutes. If one tests positive, we can help them in further medical processes,” said a senior health official.